https://www.bonnielowkramen.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/bonnie-and-Jen-still-FB-snippet-1.jpg 694 1507 Bonnie Low-Kramen /wp-content/uploads/2020/08/bonnie-low-logo.png Bonnie Low-Kramen2020-07-08 22:05:182022-01-25 13:10:49Navigating a Virtual Conversation? Here’s How.
By Bonnie Low-Kramen | July 2020
It’s tricky, isn’t it? In a world turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, the workplace became even more complicated and demanding. Even more is being expected of assistants, including the need to do their work as executive business partners virtually. There is no question that emotions are running high, and building resilience, navigating change, and having clear communications are paramount to succeeding today.
Communication has always been important, but the challenges are amplified as we try to have meaningful conversations over Zoom and with lots of unpredictable distractions. As you approach these conversations, it is crucial to be prepared. Here are seven steps to help you win with every interaction:
- Remember that it is a whole new ballgame with new rules. Even if you have been working with your executive and/or your team for a long time, you are now in a brand new situation with working at home. You may need to revisit how you work together and especially about how you communicate and how often. The old rules probably don’t apply anymore.
- Make sure you understand the problem/issue. Stick with the facts and dazzle them with details. This requires doing your homework, asking questions, listening, gathering all the information, especially when multiple parties are involved.
- Consider your scope of options. Be prepared to present Plans A, B, and C – and if necessary, Plan D.
- For each option or solution, think ahead to the possible outcomes. Think ahead, run the what-ifs, and have pros and cons ready to see the outcomes of each suggestion.
- Put it in writing. In presenting your options or solutions to your manager or a department, put them in writing and send your document in advance of the meeting. Doing this communicates the seriousness with which you are taking this process. Consider how you will present these options. Are you presenting to an audio-only audience? Or maybe a visual audience over Zoom or Teams?
- Evaluate the outcome of your solution. How was the presentation received and did it work? What went well, what didn’t go well, what can you change for the next time you have to present a solution to a problem?
- If in doubt, ask. Still in doubt? Ask again. Even though you probably can read minds at times, our current situation is fraught with communication landmines. Your job is to seek clarity at every turn.
I am Bonnie Low-Kramen, TEDx speaker, author of “Be the Ultimate Assistant” and trainer of Executive Assistants all over the world. In May, 2019, I was featured in a Forbes online cover story. As part of the research for my second book about the workplace to be published in 2022, I have had over 1,000 conversations with assistants, leaders, HR professionals, recruiters, and business school professors. I have worked in 14 countries and 38 states and would love to work with you towards building your ultimate workplace. Click here to set up a time to speak with me about your training needs which can be delivered virtually or in person.