• Thanushree Anil

Master yourself to be perfect at virtual conversations

Virtual conversations a few months back just meant chatting and catching up with your friends or a job interview. Four months (plus) of lockdown, isolation, quarantine has taken a toll on humanity. Amid frantically over thinking about the future we have been reduced to talking to even our parents via video calls. A sad reality.

However, we could thank technology for staying connected with the world and the people that we know. This period has tested us on every moral value of humanity.

It was easy for us to practice what we preach to the world physically but how do we do it virtually?

For the young generation who has a vast future ahead of them the fact of indulging in social circles making social connections are an important aspect for them to plan big and help them reach the next step because let’s be honest influences can do its tricks, add up hard work and you would be a beacon in the field.

Rainbows, unicorns and everything sparkly

The face you show to the world will be reflected, the face in which you react to the world will be reflected, the world is a huge society to be judged. How you judge it, matters.

If you think that the world has some rainbows left, it would show you a hundred rainbows.

smile, good day, enjoy, therapy

Life may throw you off of balance sometimes, intimidate it by wickedly smiling at it with an expression of ‘That’s what you got?’

While battling no one may know what you go through and vice versa, it is significant to be kind to any person that you initiate a conversation with. You may never know who needs kindness at the moment, it could also make a lasting impression, the person might recall how you were kind and humble to them when what they needed was just that at that moment and could in turn benefit you.

Nevertheless, benefitting or not, be kind to the world and it would be kind to you.

Trust, faith and pixie dust

Virtual conversations are a guessing game most of the time, the emotions, the sarcasm, the eyes chico, you cant see them so you just assume that the other person is being nice or well maybe not nice.

Who are you?

What can you do for me?

Why should I care?

How should I feel about you?

Why should I trust you?

To misunderstand is a very easy task in virtual mode, to instill trust and faith in the other person is a must-do in a virtual conversation add your charm as the pixie dust and voila you have the conversation eased in.

Trust, faith and pixie dust

“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” – Dale Carnegie.

Using their name in the conversation has definitely an impact on people, it makes them feel special listening to or reading one’s name is a sweet melody while conversing.

Listen. Respond. Talk

Being a good listener is such a pearl of age-old wisdom, everyone knows this but how many people put it into practice?

Especially in the current situation, people could be quite self-absorbing, talking about online exams or the tedious work from home or family issues. The response that you give is critical to how the conversation would lead. Lots and lots of issues but if you need a person to listen to them all, listen to what they have to say too.

According to Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, there are five types of listening

  • Ignoring – The “La La La, I can’t hear you” fingers in the ears school of listening

  • Pretending – The “Uh-huh, Oh really? That’s nice” school of listening

  • Selective Hearing – The “But I’m sure I heard you say…” school of listening

  • Attentive – The “I know exactly how you feel when that happened to me…” school of listening

  • Empathic – The “And how does that make you feel*?” school of listening

Now what we need to adopt is empathic listening which works in four stages.

  • Mimic – Repeat what the other person said

  • Rephrase – Rephrase their comments to show that you’ve understood

  • Reflect – Put their feelings into words for them

  • Rephrase and Reflect – Combine steps 2 and 3

People who like to think everything in an organized way can think of these stages and take them in their conversation.