Communicating in the Time of Zoom Share:
- Travis Stovall, CEO, eRep, Inc.
- Monday, June 15, 2020
Experts say that 90% of communication is non-verbal. What happens when nearly everyone is working from home and the amount of electronic communications has skyrocketed? The ability to read non-verbal cues is reduced to a fraction of what it used to be. We find ourselves in that time.
The idea of sitting across from a colleague, a sales prospect or a supervisor is, for the time being, a non-existent luxury. How do we do our best to communicate effectively and convey thoughts and ideas without causing offense or frustration? We must adopt a communication and interaction style to honor the person we are trying to communicate or interact with, a style that works remotely.
We can inadvertently insult or irritate another person simply by being ourselves. It usually happens through an unintentional miscommunication or misinterpretation of what we were trying to express. These crossed wires are caused by our viewing the world through our own emotional hardwiring, or as we say in the Core Values Index (CVI) world, through our own primary core value lens. I often say numerous times throughout the day, "We see the world through our primary core value lens," and that viewpoint is ours and ours alone. We may share a somewhat similar perspective with someone else who shares the same primary core value energy, but in the end, we may still see the world slightly different.
We see the world through our primary core value lens.
How do we survive in this time of reduced access to each other's non-verbal cues? We must start by understanding our own human operating system. This is fundamental to appreciating how we are different from those around us. Since we see the world from our own hardwired perspective, it is difficult to appreciate the perspective of others if they differ from our own personality's DNA. It is critical to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of our unique hardwiring. Once we know how we see the world and process various interactions, we can begin to adjust and appreciate the other person's perspective. We may interpret someone's simple gesture in a way it was not intended. The moment we have a better understanding of the other person's CVI profile, we can determine if our reading was appropriate.
Here is a brief example. CVI Builders can be direct and to the point, wanting to directly "get down to business." Merchants prefer a brief opportunity to connect on a more personal level before getting serious. When the Merchant encounters the Builder's directness, they tend to experience a negative interaction because they assume that the Builder must be irritated and unhappy with them. In actuality, the Builder is just operating in a single-purpose mindset and just wants to conduct the business and move on to the next priority.
Once both parties understand and appreciate each other's CVI profile, they can honor the other's communication style. They also have a clearer understanding and can address any potential communication conflicts up front. If the Builder's time is short, they can announce that at the beginning of the conversation. This lets the Merchant know they need to stay on topic so that they can move to their next item. If the Merchant really needs to express something to the Builder, they can let the Builder know up front that they would like to cover a quick item before moving to the meeting agenda and gain approval from the Builder to do so. Otherwise, the Builder may mentally move on to the next item and not provide the Merchant with their undivided attention.
We must strive to communicate the way the person needs to be communicated with. In doing so we are required to understand how the other person is hardwired and thus honor their CVI profile. We dramatically reduce the probability for conflict and increase our effectiveness.
In this age of increasing electronic communication, it is highly beneficial to better understand who we are communicating with to achieve the desired benefits. I have provided a few points in the accompanying PDF describing how the different CVI profiles communicate. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at eRep, Inc. if you have any questions about improving individual or team communications.
Go to eRep.com/core-values-index/ to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.
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Merchant/Builder - CEO, eRep, Inc.
Travis Stovall is co-founder and CEO of eRep. His focus is helping individuals find work they love and companies build highly aligned teams, one great hire at a time. Stovall holds a Bachelor's degree from Union College in Business Administration, Finance emphasis graduating Summa Cum Laude, and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.