Laura's Blog

Laura's Blog


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Virtual Time

Monday, October 11, 2010 @ 1:14:00 PM - Written by Laura Cootsona
People ask me frequently if I am traveling a lot. My answer: not so much. Why: my clients are limiting my travel which limits their costs. Pretty straight forward given the economic climate. So, what's left? A myriad of electronic means of communicating...virtual communication. I have had to learn, practice and continue improving my virtual communication skills.

Just to tease you, I'm going to access the advise of my local colleague, Jamie Grettum, Director of Learning Services for the Ken Blanchard Companies. You Chicoans will have a chance to learn from the source on Dec. 2 at 2:30 for the Nonprofit Council. Anyway, here are a few of her tips. When you are anticipating a call, be sure to prepare: "Before you pick up the phone, find a queit place to speak, away from your computer, cell phone, PDA, or other distractions...have your notes in front of you." Be prepared to listen. The phone in general and conference calls in particular are more complicated than a face to face because silence inevitably seems quieter and longer. "Be comfortable with that silence." Jamie recommends paraphrasing the person you are listening to and asking clarifying questions. If you are on a group call, gently prod those less likely to speak. Of course, like in any productive meeting it is critical to "circle back" and be sure you know what has been said and agreed to. "Also agree on how you will both be kept apprised of actions taken or progress made in the interim." Thanks, Jamie. Any one else have a tip or two?