Updated: May 27, 2020
As a result of COVID-19, most of us are at home, working and communicating through screens.
There has been a massive shift in how we do business and how we interact with one other.
Needless to say this has brought about a change in our behaviour and how we speak with clients and colleagues.
One question a client recently asked me was “How do I exert influence using only telephone and video communication, when I would ordinarily do so in person?”
In this article, we explore 7 different ways you can influence people during lockdown.
1. Communicate Effectively (Spoken)
During lockdown, you need to take a proactive approach to your communication.
Take charge of organising calls with those you want to speak to. Then plan what you are going to say. Now is a great time to actively try to arrange phone or video discussions and people are much more open when you communicate with them this way rather than email.
Make sure that people know that you’re still working and what you’re working on. Don’t assume that anyone already knows.
Remember that many people are potentially at risk of redundancy right now, so you need to make sure you’re visible. Great communication is an opportunity for you to boost your status in their minds. It also helps you be more productive and build relationships.
With all change and uncertainty there is also opportunity. Show your team, your boss and your clients that you are willing to go above and beyond. This way, you will remain at the forefront of their minds.
2. Communicate Effectively (Unspoken)
We are firmly operating in a digital world at the moment and I would be very surprised if you have so far avoided using Zoom, Google Hangout or Microsoft Teams.
While it’s important to carefully plan and execute what you say during these meetings. You should also consider:
The gestures you use
Where you focus your eyes
How you dress
An experiment by Joep Cornelisson found that investors were 12% more interested in investing when they saw frequent gestures. If you are pitching an idea, using your hands is a really great tool to help people buy into that idea as it gives them a better sense of what you’re thinking and how it would work.
Gesturing also helps you be more charismatic and therefore more engaging.
Eye contact is hugely important in nonverbal communication, but it is different in a video meeting.In person, you would look directly at someone’s eyes. In a video meeting, you maintain eye contact by looking into the camera. Try and look into your computer camera often to maintain this contact.
If you can’t help looking at someone’s face on the screen instead of the camera you could move your meeting window to the part of the screen nearest to the camera so at least you’re looking at approximately the right place when you’re looking at their face.
It takes seven seconds for people to make judgments about your capability, confidence and status.
When using video meetings, your visual presence sets the first impression. So be sure your grooming and wardro