Whether it’s a new co-worker, client or recruiter, creating a good relationship and building rapport is critical to the success of any working relationship. With social distancing, many working relationships are now virtual. Building these connections takes a little more finesse but will be key in driving success moving forward.
Build trust. Trust evolves differently in virtual relationships. When in an office setting, relationships and trust are built through ongoing social interaction and collaborative work. However, virtual colleagues build trust through reliability, consistency, and responsiveness.
Interact “face-to-face” when possible. Whether you typically communicate through email or over the phone, face-to-face interaction is still possible via video conferencing and can help boost your rapport by allowing for more personal interaction. Having the chance to gauge a colleague’s mannerism, tone and personality can make future email and phone conversations more natural and comfortable.
Remember who is on the other end of the interaction. Understand that the person on the other end of your screen is a real person. Sure, it might sound elementary – but it’s as simple as treating others the way you want to be treated, and don’t do or say anything that you wouldn’t want to be said to you.
Listen. Try to listen actively when someone else is speaking to best understand their requirements, ideas, and plans. Showing interest and being attentive is a great way to make people feel comfortable opening up to you. And never attempt to multitask. Give the other person your full attention as a sign of respect, and to give yourself a better chance of understanding their intentions.
Stick to your word. A simple way to establish your reputation is by keeping your word. If you agree on a deadline, or make a promise to call a teammate, follow it up. When you demonstrate your integrity and work ethic, your colleagues will learn that they can rely on you.
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