Dealing with difficult conversation in person is already challenging. Added with remote environment, it can be such a daunting experience to deal with. However, you have to face it no matter what because you are the leader and you have to find ways to solve the problems. During remote work, there is no other way for you to deal with difficult conversation other than through virtual conversation. It may sound unpromising but it can be just as effective as you do it face to face.
How to deal with difficult conversation during remote work
It is common that difficult conversation comes up from time to time in your team. Sometimes, the problem is not that big but the complexity of the problem that is too concerning to ignore. Or, sometimes the problems can potentially affect the workflow in the team so you need to solve it as soon as possible. And here are some useful tips for you to deal with difficult conversation during remote work:
Use video instead of text or phone call
Using a video also holds you accountable to fully stay present in the conversation. It is an attempt to make both side stay focused on the conversation. It also allows you to see more nonverbal cues such as body language, gestures, etc. Hence, you need to pay more attention to those. See how the other is reacting during the conversation. Also, pay attention to vocal or physical changes that may happen. On the other hand, watch your gesture and body language so you don’t send potentially misinterpreted signals. Stay composed and don’t let emotion get the best of you. also
It is also important that you eliminate distractions that can disrupt your focus in the conversation. Minimize clutters, background views, and noise that can possibly disrupt your conversation.also, mute your notifications from both your computer and phone. Remove anything that can shift your focus away from the conversation.
Turn off self-view
The reason of using video call is so that you can focus on the other person and not to focus on yourself. Hence, turn off your self-view during the conversation so can fully pay attention to the discussion. When you are talking to someone, you have to see them not yourself. Just make sure that your camera angle is good for the other to see you clearly. If you are afraid of looking embarrassing, check yourself before the video call, see if you have anything stuck in your teeth or something.
Do not be in a rush
To make conversation more effective, allow additional time for responses. Give each other time to process and form a response. Pauses between speaking can feel longer than they actually are. However, embrace the uncomfortable silence before interjecting or prompting for a response. Also, make thorough preparation before holding a difficult conversation so you have relevant data and information needed, know what questions to ask, and understand what to do to wrap out the conversation by making concrete plan for follow-up.