In the last couple of months, the way we work has dramatically changed - perhaps forever. Instead of meeting physically, we use Zoom and Skype to video call. Most of us now work from home and our colleagues have been reduced to their online presence. Today, leaders and other professionals are facing challenges we once upon a time didn’t even consider. But how can we overcome these hurdles and what opportunities does the current situation actually bring?
There are many talented coaches working at The Roll and Johanna is one of them. Like many of you reading this article, she has mostly worked face to face. Due to this, she has great insight to offer when it comes to identifying challenges and opportunities with the present circumstances. An obstacle she has noticed is that it’s a lot harder to read the body language of the person you’re speaking to if you’re restricted to online communication. However, being limited to only seeing someone on a computer screen has “improved her listening ability”. That appears to be the solution to the fundamental problem she, and others, are facing as well. If you want to hear something, you need to listen. Moreover, this process can also improve your problem-solving skills.
Another coach that works for The Roll is Christelle. She has always met her clients both online and face-to-face, so for her, the adjustments haven’t been as sensational. Just like Johanna, she expresses the challenge of body language reading and brings up the opportunity to improve one’s listening ability. When you focus solely on someone’s voice, it’s also harder to get distracted by other external stimuli. Additionally, she points out that “you become better at noticing the small things”.
The biggest challenge that Christelle has found with working online, though, is that it’s more difficult to build trust. Meeting someone online isn’t the same as meeting them in person. Thus, it’s of great importance to always show your face when you do. Johanna mentions this advice as well. Furthermore, she says: “You have to remember that the other person can see you.”. Think about the background, the lighting, and the sound. This makes just as much of a difference as dressing professionally or showing up on time.
According to Christelle, conducting business online can moreover increase your target audience since you’re no longer limited to your geographic location. Previously, most of her clients were in Stockholm. Now with all that’s going on, people are more open to trying online services. This shift in attitude has enabled Christelle to gain more coachees in France, her home country. Individuals who might have been too afraid to try a digital solution when they had a different option.
So to summarize, the Coronavirus has changed many things and one of them is how we work. This brings about both challenges and opportunities. It’s harder to read someone’s body language over a screen and it can also be harder to build trust. Therefore, it’s important to turn your camera on and remember that the one you’re talking to can see you. However, there are opportunities as well. The current situation gives you the chance to improve your listening ability, develop your problem-solving skills, and expand your customer base. It’s all about your mindset. You can choose to get caught up in the obstacles, or you can choose to focus on the possibilities and thrive.
The latter is how professionals lead online.