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10 Key Phrases To Boost Communication In Virtual Team Meetings

How are your virtual IT team meetings working out for you?

Do they run efficiently, or get bogged down in unimportant details? 

Does your team seem to thrive during your remote sessions, or appear to dread them?

If you feel your online meetings could use a communication boost, consider why these 10 key phrases might help.

 

A Great Opener

“Nice to see you all again.”

The perks of using it:

  • It’s a feel-good statement – who doesn’t enjoy knowing their company is appreciated?
  • It’s a useful reminder that you’re all a team (even if it’s remotely), and that as their manager or team leader, you’re happy to re-connect with them.

 

Set The Scene

“So this is the situation for today.” 

The perks of using it:

  • It immediately sets the agenda. Your team will welcome you getting straight to the point, rather than take up their precious work time skirting around issues
  • It shows you’re willing to be upfront – whether it’s a positive call (‘here’s what we need to get done this week), or negative (‘the client has shifted the project parameters … again’)
  • It increases the chances of reciprocation. If you’re known for your honesty, your team will hopefully feel comfortable to be the same

 

Appreciation, Fostering Morale & Encouraging Feedback

“I’d like to hear more about {insert issue/point etc.}.”

The perks of using it:

  • It’s specific, so not a time-waster
  • It’s a non-threatening way to encourage the team member to share more about what they’ve said, rather than saying “What did you mean by that?”

“What do you think?”

The perks of using it:

  • It’s one of the best methods of boosting motivation – most people will do more when they feel their opinion matters 
  • It can foster innovation – when asked directly but in a gentle way, that introverted team member may just feel comfortable enough to share some out-of-the-box thinking, allowing you to get to the end goal faster and more effectively 

 “Thanks for your suggestion. It worked really well.”

The perks of using it:

  • It gives your staff instant gratification by clearly illustrating their feedback is valued 
  • It not only shows you listened, but followed up
  • It should encourage others to contribute too

“How can I help?”

The perks of using it:

  • It shows you’re aware there’s always more you could do to support the team, especially when everyone is working remotely
  • It shifts the onus of action on you, rather than placing it on team members who may be reluctant to ask for help
  • It shows you care 

 

The Importance Of Apologies

“Sorry for interrupting you.”

The perks of using it:

  • It shows humility which is a great trait to have as a leader. It demonstrates you’re aware of your actions and the feelings they may produce in a ‘talked-over’ team member 
  • It reduces the chances of your staff feeling affronted if you interrupt them (which is all too easy to do in a remote meeting)
  • It allows you to hear more than you say. If you’re too busy talking, you may miss a vital nugget of information 

 

How To Agree To Disagree

“I see what you’re saying but don’t fully agree.”

“You have a valid point but …”

“While I appreciate your point, I’m sorry I can’t agree.”

The perks of using any of these:

  • They all acknowledge the other person’s view point, rather than simply shooting it down. This goes a long way to softening the blow of you disagreeing

 

At the end of the day, these 10 key phrases are all about showcasing your communication capabilities as a team leader or manager. Employing even one or two will assist you in mastering your online meetings, and create a more cohesive team. 

If you’d like some extra support, you might like to read our other articles How to nail your team communications and 6 things to do to boost your team’s productivity during the pandemic. Or feel free to reach out to one of our Finite team for more suggestions.

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