C-Suite LifestyleExecutive Education

Stop Personalizing And Start Getting Personal

BusinessMen

Companies are increasingly recognizing there’s no opting out when it comes to workplace communication. But scheduling, streamlining, or structuring static communication misses the point—because we, as human beings, are the point.

Restoring human connectedness keeps us in sync with the people who matter most in our professional lives, and protects our mental and emotional health. According to Forbes magazine, poor emotional well-being and associated issues are estimated by The Center for Prevention and Health as costing employers $79–$105 billion every year.

Digital tools keep us tethered to our work, yet we’re unproductive. We’re reliant on workplace communication for a sense of belonging, yet our relationships feel cold and detached.

How then do we return to communication that feels human? Personal video. Using videos in email, text, and social messages allows us to harness the technological constraints that have driven us apart, and restore face-to-face interaction.

Although video once required expertise, today anyone can use video for relationship building. You are now the differentiator in your professional success. Feeling hesitant about being front and center in video? These tips may help:

Reject perfection to enable connection.When it comes to making and sending video, we must reject perfectionism. People already know how we look and sound. Hiding behind text robs us of the opportunity to truly engage with one another. Presenting ourselves authentically in video allows us the opportunity to truly connect. If your video’s not perfect? Even better.  

How to do it: Send your video immediately after you stop recording—no do-overs. 

Stop thinking and start talking. In a synchronous conversation, we have little time to find the right words. We can’t cling to talking points or outlines. With video, it’s not what you say; it’s how the video makes the recipientfeel. So instead of relying on a script, trust the natural nonverbal signals our brains are wired to send and receive. 

How to do it: Establish eye contact. Smile. Gesture with your hands. Be you. 

Find the moments; make the effort. If you want to be more engaged with others, you have to physically engage with them. But when video is new, it can be overwhelming. Expressing thanks, delivering bad news, or introducing yourself are all times for sending a video—but should you? A good beginner strategy is to be selective and only use video in a few predetermined situations. As such, video stays manageable as your new habit takes hold.

How to do it: Start small with a defined case or two, then branch out over time.


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Ethan Beute
Ethan Beute is Vice President of Marketing at BombBomb and, with coauthor Stephen Pacinelli, author of Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience (Wiley, April 2019). Ethan has collected and told personal video success stories in hundreds of blog posts, in dozens of webinars, podcasts, and stage presentations, and in countless conversations. Ethan is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.