Rapport is Crucial to Communication

Rapport. Rapport among all the players in your business is vital. Establishing and building rapport propels business, productivity, collaboration and work enjoyment. In a recent study, in the Wall Street Journal, entitled Surviving a Conference Call, a survey by RW3 revealed that “one of the biggest problems with virtual meetings is that it is hard for participants to build rapport with each other, a hurdle cited by 75% of 3,301 business people surveyed in 2012 by RW3, a New York culture and leadership training company.”
Some of the hindrances in building rapport were “the absence of nonverbal cues such as facial expressions makes many people hesitant to speak up and makes it harder to pay attention. In the survey, 71% of participants cited a lack of participation by others as a problem with virtual meetings.”
The obstructions that made these participants feel that there were too many hurdles to building rapport are ones that I can relate with. I used to facilitate our weekly company meeting and training. This meeting involved 23 employees calling in from numerous locations; home and onsite offices and 5 states. I would conduct trainings and ask for input. After a while I would even prep my coworkers beforehand with examples and information that the group needed, so there wouldn’t be as much lull in the conference calls and that we could continue in a momentum that normally comes from being in the same room and generating a discussion in a meeting.
When our company deployed Microsoft Lync internally as our communication platform, many of the obstructions to building rapport were immediately eliminated. Utilizing the video conference call feature obviously helps with being able to see nonverbal cues previously a mystery on calls. Having a chat feature within the conference also helps items and feedback to be portrayed to everyone on the call during the meeting. It is even easier for me to remain engaged in calls knowing that the other person can see me; my expressions, my portrayal of information and even my screen, if need be.
The obstacles against establishing and building rapport are substantial.  In doing business within a virtual culture, numerous offices, telecommuting and conference calls, there can be many barriers in creating rapport among those we do business with. Crucial to having meaningful and productive conference calls is having everyone’s full attention, in understanding the vibe of the room when none of the people are in the same room, and being able to identify and communicate the presentation, as well as the needs and ideas of the participants.
Obviously, being in the same room with those you are working with is ideal. However, I’m not even in the same state as my coworkers. Utilizing Lync to conduct our conference calls does not eliminate all the obstacles to communicating together but it certainly removes many of them. Not only does it remove many of the hindrances people found in having meaningful and productive calls but it does this seamlessly and cost effectively.
At TecFac we strive to have effective communication. We have found that a helpful platform to help foster an environment of communication is Microsoft Lync. We can help you identify, design, deploy and facilitate the technology you need for your business. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 301.960.0490.

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