Last night at the dinner table with my family, my kids were entertaining us with their impressions of my behavior on camera during my remote meetings. To my delight, my kids were teasing me more about my non-verbal behavior than any verbal tics. I learned that I give the camera a lot of “thumbs up” signs to show my agreement on what is being discussed and I clap my hands in applause at the camera when a co-worker is showcasing a job well done.
While this was a hilarious moment with my family, it got me thinking: what’s wrong with showing my personality during a remote meeting? The answer is nothing—this is the time to let your personality shine!
Many of the organizations that we partner with have found themselves either working remotely for the first time, or experiencing a larger number of team members transitioning to remote work indefinitely. It’s a big adjustment transitioning in-person meetings to remote meetings! Some colleagues may be very shy about being on camera, while other members may be mourning the loss of social interaction with their teams. I want to share the good news that you can still maintain that social camaraderie in your meetings or team working sessions with a few adjustments.
- If possible, keep cameras on at all times during your remote meeting. This visible interaction is vital to maintaining the sense of teamwork that you used to experience in person during meetings at the office.
- Instead of interrupting the flow of conversation, use some non-verbal cues for the camera. For example, if you agree with a colleague and the direction they are proposing, throw out a thumbs up so the team can see your agreement.
- It goes without saying, but a nice nod of the head or intentional smiling at the camera goes a long way in encouraging others as they are presenting.
- I like to wave at folks as they enter the remote meeting, or if there are late comers, I will throw them a chat message welcoming them and letting them know what they have missed.
- If your team is used to social time at the office, grab some time on the calendars for team building/social share remote meetings. Just because you are working from home does not mean the team relationships you have built need to change.
In these trying times, there is one thing that will never change, and that is the uniqueness of YOU. Be intentional during your remote meetings and if you are struggling with feelings of isolation, YOU can still shine through and contribute your unique personality to help your team continue to produce incredible work!