Dial Up 'Female' Strengths
As remote work continues for many of us; it's time to really put some of our 'soft' skills to work for us. Our teams and companies need and value skills like Communications, Collaboration, and Empathy now more than ever.
In a world where we are all on camera most of the day, while also simultaneously instant messaging co-workers, juggling our email inboxes, and mastering all the other collaboration tools thrown at us, it helps to consciously be using our strengths to get our work and projects done and take care of our customers.
I was speaking with a friend of mine who is back in the office now and he was talking about the challenges of communicating while wearing masks. The inability to see facial expressions is leading to communication challenges. People can't see if you're laughing, smiling, or frowning and it is causing problems in team meetings as jokes fall flat and healthy debate is stifled.
That led me to think about how to improve my remote-based Communications. If you are just firing off requests to people, that is going to work about as well as it did in the office, right?
Let's take the time to make sure we are explaining what we need and why. How it benefits our customers and company. Be open to input on how to solve a challenge and who might be best to assist. Let's use our strong communication skills both in writing, verbally, and in managing projects to really shine right now. And let's not underestimate the power of a simple phone call, that's right, actual voice-to-voice. It can be so refreshing to answer a call versus trying to get clarification over email or text.
I love working on teams, particularly when tasked with a juicy problem to solve that requires input from many functions in the business. Remote-based Collaboration in some ways is more challenging and in some ways is easier. I'm getting better at using the electronic white boarding/brainstorming apps available and I'm a huge fan of Zoom meeting rooms that enable a big group to quickly break into smaller groups and then come back together. Taking the time to be proficient in these tools is leading to more innovative solutions. And side benefit, I'm finding that they don't allow for one or two people to dominate a conversation. They really make it easy to get everyone's input into the project. Love that silver lining!
And lastly Empathy. Really making the time to connect with and listen to your co-workers and customers. You can't solve every problem but really being there for each other during these tough times can lead to stronger professional relationships. You just can't underestimate how much a check-in call or humor can brighten someone's day.
Let's all strive to dial-up these strengths that are so needed right now. You're co-workers, companies and customers will definitely notice and benefit!