Talk a new language to change the conversation in the Virtual World

The virtual world makes it more and more difficult to engage truly with our people.

Talk a new language to change the conversation in the Virtual World

Technology built the barriers, but it is only by talking a new language that we can influence and inspire effectively in this new world of work. Those who crack this will smash their goals and win the war for talent.

85% of employees are not engaged at work1. That’s a statistic which has got markedly worse in the virtual world. Engaged employees deliver greater profits. So, a failure to address this issue is like throwing money into the flames.

Pre-pandemic the world was a simpler place. We gathered our teams in the meeting room once a month, or once a week, or even once a day. The quality of engagement was then up to us. The poor leaders barked command and control and went on transmit.  The good leaders used the team gatherings to empower, trust and inspire.

The working week was liberally sprinkled with one-to-one meetings between bosses and key members of the team. The good bosses practiced the art of good listening. 

But now in the virtual world the barriers to great communication and great listening have grown all around. Now the corporate world is looking at how we can bridge the communications gap.

The tech products are many. But it is only by talking a new language that we can bridge the communications gap stifling productivity across the corporate world.  What if we were to reimagine the current situation through the eyes of the Olympic champion?  As the Chair of UK Coaching, I have the privilege of spending time with many of our leading gold medal winning coaches. 

They share the same beliefs.  They start with the mantra that if you can focus on the process rather than the goal, you will become a winner.  The most successful coaches all follow a remarkably similar six stage process.  

STEP ONE – Be very clear on your goal.

STEP TWO – Break that goal down into small, achievable everyday actions which will shift you towards your goal. Use Nudges to remind you to consistently deliver these actions.

STEP THREE – Track and measure progress on a very regular basis.

STEP FOUR – Ensure that you are focusing most on what will shift the dial. Don’t be distracted.

STEP FIVE – Stay accountable with daily or weekly check-ins with your coach for challenge and support.

STEP SIX – Celebrate all the small wins you make – to encourage you on the journey to Gold. 

It is the same six steps which are the keys to leadership in the virtual world. Through Zoom or Teams or whichever software you deploy you can use this framework to construct your conversation with individuals and teams. 

But the tech will not bring you one human thing which is essential for success – you must be consistent.  You must be doggedly and determinedly consistent.  Deviation, distraction, or diversion will turn winning into losing.

Technology can support you in your endeavours.  But the truth is that you need to use it to enable a new conversation to take place with your people.  Tech without a new mindset will always end in failure. It is the two together which will drive your employee engagement; increase employee satisfaction; and enable your company to grow.

 1 Gallup. State of the Global Workplace Report.

Atholl Duncan
Atholl Duncan

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