Recently, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) held a webinar entitled, Virtual Best Practices: Clarity, Collaboration and Connecting, which dove into the topic of “Zoom fatigue,” a new, commonly used term defined by the draining feeling you experience after a day of long, unnecessary meetings.

We are all facing new challenges in the rapidly changing work environment. How can we communicate and collaborate with clarity and keep our teams engaged and interested in this new virtual world?

Below are 6 key takeaways from the webinar:

1. The shift to virtual presents major challenges, especially in the way we seek to differentiate and compete amidst the overwhelming amount of noise (content) that is thrown in our faces daily. Many are feeling the effects this noise has had on their career aspirations. It is important for our mental and physical health to take the necessary steps to overcome, or at least, better cope, with the fatigue that comes with going virtual.

Panel tips: Every day, get up, dressed, and ready and be present with yourself. Opt for a walking meeting if your meeting does not require that you enable video. Also, allow yourself a break from the camera. You can determine which meeting calls can forgo the need for others to see your face. Video breaks will allow you to rest and recharge your mind for your next on-video meeting.

2. These days, our humanness is showing more now that our professional lives are taking place in our homes and around family members. When we are on our video calls and a relative walks by or a child loudly “interrupts” our meeting, the human element is captured in the picture. With this comes the opportunity for us to become more thoughtful and compassionate to the needs of others.

Panel tips: Do not stress about your home life showing on camera. Take it with grace and humor, and allow things to happen. Everyone is in the same boat right now.

3. We are isolated more than ever before. You are probably missing the personal conversations that naturally happen in the office, or the after work happy hour with your team.

Panel tips: Take this time to be more mindful during non-office hours. Take the wasted travel time you are now getting back as an opportunity to have check-ins with teammates and clients. Take advantage of the fact that you may feel more confident to voice your thoughts and ideas because you are in the comfort of your home over a video call.

4. Making new connections over video still require the same research tools, such as scanning a LinkedIn profile, to show you have done your homework and care.

Panel tips: When holding introductions, invite shared connections to join the conversation. With your current connections, set aside time for short virtual coffee meetings. Be sure to have a little fun while keeping people engaged, such as through fun competitions or monthly book clubs.

5. A positive thing about virtual calls is they have allowed us to become better listeners and more mindful to what others have to say. Successful meetings cannot happen if everyone is trying to speak at one. We are becoming more conscious of how we communicate and how we get our points across to others over a webcam.

Panel tips: Try and use eye contact when speaking and when listening. However, do not push video if someone is uncomfortable with it. Think of inviting them to it rather than enforcing it. Use your voice and ensure you are being understood.

6. When we communicate, we must communicate with clarity. That means being simple, direct, and relevant. Think about the 15-second rule; if your point is not made within 15 seconds, you will be shut out by the person you are speaking to.

Panel/Pro tip: Your best communication strategy yet will be to make use of memory darts. Memory darts quickly capture attention and provoke an invitation to tell your story. Here are a few examples of this technique:

• Snippets – scraps, fragments,
• Stories – origins, successes, and,
• Symbols – analogies, illustrations, metaphors

Special thanks to HBA for hosting such a relevant and useful discussion as well as the panelists, Steve Woodruff, Amazon bestseller author of “Clarity Wins” and President of Impactivi, Carol Augustine, VP Portfolio Strategy and Asset Management at Otsuka and HBA’s 2019 Rising Star, and Amy Turnquist, VP Digital Solutions, eHealthcare Solutions and President of HBA Philadelphia and Mid-Atlantic Regional Council for offering their experiences and tips for doing your best during this unprecedented time.

Be sure to check out this great resource provided by Steve that will help you craft your own memory darts to ensure you are communicating with clarity.

HBA is a global nonprofit organization comprised of individuals and organizations from across the healthcare industry committed to achieving gender parity in leadership positions, facilitating career and business connections, and providing effective practices that enable organizations to realize the full potential of their female talent.”