Thought for the Week – From Virtual Barriers to Real Connections

virtual-barriersLast week’s Thought for the Week was; “Listening to See & Hear” which was all about listening more in conversations than speaking, to be more effective communicators. You can see this and all of my previous blogs below.

So, my last thought was more about face-to-face conversations, but how do we listen to see and hear when we are on a virtual call or on the phone, which is how we communicate more and more these days?

Personally, I always prefer a face-to-face conversation to a virtual one wherever doable, and sometimes that’s just not possible.

And I’m seeing very successful professionals learn how to cross time, space, and culture barriers to communicate effectively and get great results.

The ‘communication rules’ have evolved over time, especially over the last 3 years and we have had to learn to navigate that.

And, actually it is more difficult for people to talk over each other on a virtual call isn’t it! We all look at the little lit-up square to see who is talking and we look at that person. So, if people talk over each other, it can get very confusing.

So, how do you know someone is listening to you and engaged while on a virtual call?

I’d like to give you a tip to show you are listening on a video call, you may already do this, but in case you aren’t, try looking into your camera. This gives the impression that you are making eye contact.

Now, of course, you will want to be looking at the person as well, so just make a point of looking into the camera when you can. When we are face-to-face, we wouldn’t stare at the other person anyway, we would make eye contact in a relaxed way!

If easier, you can move the chat windows to the centre of your screen so when you are looking away from the camera, it still appears that you are looking at them, rather than off to one side.

Other ways to overcome virtual barriers and improve communication: –

  1. Use non-verbal cues: Although virtual communication limits the use of body language, you can still use non-verbal cues like nodding or smiling to show engagement and agreement.
  2. Be clear and concise: In virtual communication, it’s important to be clear and concise to avoid misunderstandings. Make sure your message is brief, focused, and to the point.
  3. Practice active listening: Active listening involves paying attention to what the other person is saying and responding appropriately. It’s important to avoid multitasking or getting distracted during virtual calls.
  4. Use technology effectively: There are many tools available that can help improve virtual communication, such as screen sharing or chat functions. Familiarise yourself with the technology and use it effectively to enhance your virtual communication.
  5. Follow up: After virtual calls or meetings, it’s important to follow up with a summary or action items to ensure everyone is on the same page. This can help avoid miscommunications and improve collaboration.

Overall, overcoming virtual barriers requires adaptability, effective communication skills, and the use of technology to enhance virtual communication.

How about over the phone? Well, ditto mostly! Whilst we can’t look into a camera, we interpret much more than we realise through tone of voice. For example; can you ‘hear a smile’ on the phone? I think so because, when someone is smiling, their tone of voice sounds more positive.

I can also tell when someone is distracted when speaking on the phone, can you? They think we can’t see however we can hear they are less engaged by their tone of voice.

Experiment this week and I’d love to hear your feedback!

I invite you to book a free call with me to see how you could maximise virtual communication. Choose a time that best works for you HERE

“The true test of technology is not just how it works, but how it empowers people to do things they couldn’t before”

-Satya Nadella-

[CEO of Microsoft]

I will leave you with that thought and will be in touch again soon with more thoughts and tips.

With best wishes for your success,


Free Download: The Ultimate Checklist for Mastering Communication


Published by korinnethrive

Hello, I’m Korinne … I work with committed and determined professionals who want to master their communuac skills. Often business people believe they are doing OK and yet they know they are not getting the results they want and deserve. I’m passionate about helping people to achieve thir vision and get results. I have been working with Business Owners and Leaders for more that 25 years, helping them to realise their vision of what they truly want, overcome barriers to effective communication, so they can be the best version of themselves and thrive in their lives.

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