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5 Easy Tips To Build A Rapport During Virtual Conversations

Virtual conversations are the new normal and building a rapport there is vital too. Here are 5 tips to bond during virtual conversations.

Virtual conversations are the new normal and building a rapport there is vital too. Here are 5 tips to bond during virtual conversations.

Has your networking taken a hit due to work from home? Do you find it hard to build rapport online especially since people choose to switch their videos off? Are you looking at simple techniques to bond with clients and colleagues to make virtual communication more effectively?

Well, if your answer to all of these questions was ‘yes,’ then fret not, for I have a few quick tips for you!

Remember names

Are you someone who can never remember names? Do you think it’s okay to apologetically tell people that you have a bad memory and absolve yourself for not remembering their name?

If your answer to the first question is yes, you need to work on it. But the answer to the second question is ‘No!’

No matter what your excuse, when you forget someone’s name, they will not take it kindly. I believe the sweetest sound in any language is that of your own name. And that’s the case with everyone else too. So if you forget someone’s name, they will be unhappy.

On virtual calls, though you can’t see people, you can always use their name a couple of times in your conversations. The bonus of virtual calls is that you can see people’s names even if you can’t see their faces!

Using someone’s name makes the conversation personal and creates better bonds. Try and use this technique in most situations – with clients, colleagues – and on virtual calls or even during personal meetings.

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Use the right body language

With virtual meetings, the scope for non-verbal cues is limited. However, we still have some effective body language left to make others comfortable.

Smile genuinely. Make eye contact through the lens of your device. Use hand gestures effectively. These little things can go a long way in creating rapport just like in real meetings.

Make small talk

This is one of the best ways to familiarise yourself with people. Small talk is basically talking about anything but work. It is what we generally refer to as ‘chit-chat.’ Asking about people, the weather, their families and all other things like that.

Here’s how you can ace the small talk:

  • Learn about their families, hobbies and interests.
  • Ask open-ended questions to get more information.
  • Listen actively instead of multi-tasking over a virtual call
  • Remember what they have said so you can build on that the next time.
  • Think of safe topics to talk about. For instance, ask about their family, interests, their city, the weather there, their favourite food and the like.

Explore social media

Everyone is online in today’s times. So it is a good idea to look up people – whether it is important clients or new members in your network. Just a sweep will give you a general idea about them.

This isn’t stalking but general research and gaining knowledge about the people/client you’d be talking to on a virtual call. Getting to know people and their backgrounds helps you break ice faster. And this extra intelligence will be the edge that you can have in conversation. 

Connect one-on-one with team members

Working from home doesn’t mean that your job is secure forever. It is still imperative to stay in touch with your team members and seniors. This will be of great help during the lockdown and also once the office resumes.

If you are a team leader, connect with your team members, one-on-one. Call them and catch up with non-work topics. It is important to be empathetic and understand how each of your team members is coping up with the lockdown.

This applies to even senior managers and team members. Staying in touch and supporting each other is a big part of online bonding and rapport building.

Work from home may have changed the way we communicate and connect but hopefully, these tips help you bond better over virtual calls. It isn’t something that comes very easily but is definitely an essential part of our work lives till things go back to normal.

Picture credits: Fizkes via Getty Images for Canva Pro

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About the Author

Suman Kher

Hello! I am a soft skills trainer with a passion to help people become better communicators and presenters. Writing is one of the tools I use to share my expertise and enable people to develop read more...

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