Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How to Establish Trust in a Virtual Workplace

Research shows that our conscious brains can handle about 40 bits of information a second. While that may sound like quite a bit, consider the fact that our unconscious minds can handle 11 million bits of information per second – and 10 million bits of that can be visual data.
In a new book, “Power Cues,” author Nick Morgan explains this means, for example, that if you suddenly get a “powerful gut feeling that the person sitting across from you is concealing an important feeling or piece of news, that’s your unconscious mind at work.”
He points out that studies show that we make most of our decisions unconsciously and only become aware of them consciously after the fact, once we are already acting on that decision. The bottom line: Your unconscious mind is really in charge, he says.
That’s why he says it’s important to understand how you communicate with others – especially if you’re in a leadership position and want to influence and persuade others.
For example, many leaders don’t realize that it may be difficult to establish trust with a team in a virtual environment.
“People become in sync with one another when they are together, and that chore is mostly done through body language and your unconscious mind. But that is taken away when video is used,” he explains.
For example, let’s say a boss makes a comment to a worker that is meant to be lighthearted and ironic. To convey this thought, he or she may put a hand on the employee’s shoulder, offering a smile. But, if this comment is made through email, then the employee may interpret that comment as much harsher.
“After that, all it takes is a few more comments made virtually, and then it all breaks down. You have a raging case of distrust and motivation,” Morgan says. “As a manager, how do you begin to untangle it all and figure out what went wrong and when?”
The problem with virtual relationships is that is can often only take one (read more here)

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