Building Trust, Electronically

With our forced business distancing, this can feel like a jolt for those who are used to doing business face-to-face. A lot of our clients have expressed concern in trying to make their virtual connections as impactful as their in-person interactions.

  • Bad news: They are right to worry – research shows that people experience less trust and connection when conducting virtual business.
  • Good news: We can learn from those that have been doing business virtually for years and the research that shows how to overcome common trust barriers in the virtual business world.

Whether presenting your ideas, leading a team, or negotiating a deal, trust is essential. Here are three things you can do to ensure you are following research-based best practices for connecting virtually. 

  1.  Set clear expectations – Predictable communication patterns help build trust. In short, people want to feel comfortable going into meetings regardless of landscape. These basics will start you off on the right foot and even better, you can implement right away.
    • Decision makers know what is expected of them well before the meeting. Share an agenda when appropriate.
    • If they don’t have a role, question if they need to attend.
    • Turn on your video. Caveat here, if this is an expectation, make sure to give everyone a heads up in the meeting invite.
  2. Find common ground – Those that feel connected by shared characteristics, plights, and backgrounds are more likely to trust the other person.
  3. Let them know you hear them – Active listing, reflecting, and asking on-point questions is essential!

Know that you are not alone. Most of us are in the same virtual boat navigating and conducting business well, virtually. Give yourself a break and just start with the basics!

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