When virtual becomes reality (in more ways than one)
November 11, 2020
Kylie-Ann Kobelt

2020 has seen us transition everything from our midday chats at the water cooler to Saturday night drinks with friends to an online realm. Without a doubt, we all experienced some of the frustrations and challenges that with virtual connections but what value have they added to us as business owners, leaders and individuals?

Let’s dive deep into some of the lessons learnt from pivoting online and how we can transform these teachings to action in 2021.

Embracing online connections to broaden your business outcomes

While connecting virtually isn’t quite the same as the in-person energy we have with our clients, it has opened our eyes to ways that we can enhance their online experiences.

Prior to the events of 2020, we could all agree that most of our existing clients and potential prospects were sourced from locations close to our business. They were attracted by the connections we crafted close to home, our locational work base and their engagement with our business was done in-person.

Thanks to virtual connections, many businesses, including my own, have been able to broaden their scope of clients and welcome prospects from new locations, demographics and industries.

Gone are the days where access to coaching services, workshops or likeminded discussion groups were out of reach for some people. Thanks to the boost in invitations for online training, teleconferences and webinars, businesses have been able to add value to larger quantities of people quicker, more frequently and without limiting logistics.

As we approach the closing stages of 2020, it’s a powerful time to reflect on how the online world has made your business more accessible to a wider group of prospects and how in 2021, you can keep this inclusive momentum going.

For welcoming new clients to your business, consider online group workshops, discussion forums or educative webinars with a clear opt in funnel. Maximise online opportunities to nurture your existing clientele such as virtual one-on-one consultation services, group workshops and online development sessions.

Has work from home life opened our eyes to the importance of team culture?

Team culture, leadership and the way we facilitate team development has been put to the test in 2020. For many industries, the ways our teams engaged in traditional workplace settings have not translated into the online realm. The year of the zoom call has left many business owners salvaging team culture and innovating to inspire disengaged employees.

Thinking beyond video conferencing, one of the primary lessons we can take from 2020 is to never take the importance of team nurturing and engagement for granted again. Teams have felt more isolated than ever during the work from home transition with the lack of hands-on management contributing to this feeling. If you haven’t introduced a shout out system into your leadership model, then now is the time to explore this.

Virtual communication has needed to be fluid and clear and part of this should be regular recognition and praise. After all, your team has kept your business wheels in motion throughout the tumultuous world around them! Shout outs shouldn’t just come from management but between peers, too! Implementing a shoutout system such as a dedicated team group chat or Friday afternoon development session is a highly motivating way to leverage off the challenging lessons taught in 2020. Now is the time to use these lessons to craft positive and productive changes to your company culture that relish the benefits for years to come.

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 The reality of zoom fatigue

The unprecedented explosion of video conferencing has not just impacted the way we do business and inspire our teams but the way our entire household connects with friends and family.

Virtual happy hours, games nights, birthday celebrations to even monumental life events like weddings and funerals have all needed to make the switch to virtual and our fatigue is higher than ever.

For many of us, technology wasn’t a new addition to our lives but the overdrive of uncertainty in 2020 has shifted our relationship with our screens like never before. Virtual connections mean we have to work harder to process facial expressions, translate pitch and tone and pay closer attention to body language and cues.

Unlike in-person connections where distractions and breakout conversations naturally occur in group settings, the online stage leaves nothing to hide. We’re living in a world where we’re not only constantly “on” but reminded of the people looking back at us on the screen that seen so close, yet miles apart.

When we think of our more reserved and introverted friends and family members, the idea of zoom fatigue seems less like a pandemic buzzword and more of a powerful lesson in boundaries and self care.

When transitioning online social events back into reality, be kind to yourself. A lesson we can all benefit from in 2020 is to fill our own cup before we fill someone else’s. In our highly digitalised lives, many of us have needed to create buffers and boundaries to separate work life from personal life (despite now coming from the same screen).

Take this habit into 2021 and back into in-person engagements.

Reconnect with reality at a time, pace and space that works best for you.

What has your digital-driven year taught you?

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Kylie-Ann Kobelt

Kylie-Ann Kobelt

Personal Life Coach, Business Coach & Change Mentor

 

Hi, I’m Kylie-Ann, it is not the things that happen outside yourself that affect you the most. What goes on inside your head is the most powerful indicator of your success as a person. So, if your thinking becomes clearer and more empowered, so does your life.

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