Should this be a new cultural norm?

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Email chains and instant messages are an everyday occurrence for today’s professionals but one executive coach says employers should be encouraging a new cultural norm – video calls.

“People are trying to get away with using things like Slack and Yammer and email and instant messenger but they’re missing the opportunity to have a connection with a human,” says Cameron Herold, founder of the COO Alliance.

Herold mentors CEOs all over the world and says he holds every meeting via video in order to build a stronger, face-to-face connection with his clients.

“It’s really interesting, you get a complete human interaction that you don’t get over the phone,” he tells HRD. “You get to see the person’s body language, you know that you’re completely connecting, and you get to read all of the non-verbal cues.”

The human connection, he says, is something many modern professionals are yearning for.

“In this day and age, we rarely speak on the phone with people so often it’s a nice connection just to hear another human voice,” he says. “We have a lot of remote teams and remote workforces and people working overseas and to actually have that human connection with a video and a smile is pretty powerful.”

As well as building stronger relationships and forging long-distance connections, Herold says video chat prevents misunderstandings that can easily occur when communicating via email.

“A lot of written communication gets completely misinterpreted,” he says. “I often use a six-word sentence as an example which is; I didn’t say you were beautiful.

“Depending on which of those six words you place the intonation, that sentence means six completely different things and that really shows how easily written communication can be misunderstood. Face-to-face communication is just much clearer and much faster.”

Related stories:
Why video is vital for on-boarding
How to humanise your senior execs

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