How deep is a virtual connection?


Can a virtual connection go as deep as a face to face connection?

Over the last couple of months I have been experimenting with increasing connecting with contacts virtually instead of face to face. Partly, it's born out of practical requirements. Let's be clear it saves a lot of time if you don't work in the same location as your work colleagues. I also wanted to test some of my assumptions that a virtual connection is not as deep as meeting someone face to face. For example, I've always had a rule that I like coaching relationships to start face to face before they move to the phone. My assumption has been that to build trust and rapport it needs to be face to face.

Experiment 1 - A group learning hub of 6 that has only ever met online

Experiment 2 - Contacting through Twitter/LinkedIn then meeting face to face

Experiment 3 - Contacting through email and meeting online

Experiment 4 - Joining tweetchats

Experiment 5 - Participating in a worldwide MOOC (Massive, Open, Online Course)

Insights

- I love that I can make global connections and not just be limited to the area I live in. It's amazing to find people all around the world interested in the same topics, so it certainly gives you breadth of connection!

- The intention of the connection affects the quality of the connection. It's no different from face to face in that sense. If our intention is to create a connection that is meaningful and helpful to us both, then it is possible to have a warm and satisfying meeting.

- I do miss out on a whole body experience on occasion, sometimes nothing can take the place of a hug 'hello'!

- There is a wealth of knowledge out there that people want to share

Practical stuff

- To meet online by video, the techonology needs to be good enough. You need at least 10MB download speed and ideally 1MB upload speed. Use any of the free wifi speed checkers to see what your internet speed runs at.

- Get a speaker headset to minimise back ground noise and help the sound quality

- Twitter and LinkedIn can feel overwhelming in content. Start by searching for terms that you like, find a few people to follow and start there. I stay sane by checking content a couple of times a week unless directly messaged

Experimenting with this has changed my perception about when and how to use online meetings and social media to make contact and connect to people who want to work with me and those who share my passion. It does have a place and the connection can be extremely deep if you meet with intention and focus on the quality of how you meet. Face to face contact online can build trust and rapport.

What are you experimenting with that is changing your life?

To experience Leadership Coaching with Felicity Hodkinson, for a free half hour introductory session, email Felicity today.

#experimentation #coaching

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