What Deaf People Can Teach Others About Virtual Communication

Have you noticed that talking with someone through a mask is difficult? Since 50% of our body language is communicated through our facial expressions, having a mask cover about 50% of the face severely inhibits our ability to communicate and connect with others and vice versa. It’s maddening.

When wearing a mask, we all need to slow down our cadence to speak more clearly and articulately, really connect through eye contact and put more energy into our voice so that we are speaking louder and with more energy. Trying to understand someone through a mask is especially difficult for those of us with a hearing impairment.

Since it seems that we will be wearing masks for many months to come, make a conscious effort to communicate effectively. Now more than ever we need to lean into kindness, patience and humanity, and truly listen to others.

“Listening is not merely not talking…it means taking a vigorous human interest in what is being told to us.”
Andrew Miller

Worth the Share

If you know someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, you are probably aware of the need to be intentional when speaking or communicating with them. This article from the Harvard Business Review takes that intentionality to a whole new level as it explores what the hearing impaired can teach us about communicating via video conferencing. My favorite point is to pace yourself on video calls, don’t race through, so that there can be a thoughtful exchange of information. Also, the author supports something I have said many times, wear solid color tops since patterns can be visually distracting. Read on for more helpful tips…

And Finally...

Last week I had the opportunity to present Using Communication as a Competitive Advantage virtually to about 100 women for Fairygodboss, a comprehensive website for women and their careers.

We covered ten common communication misses that we are often not aware of and various techniques to become a more confident communicator during high stakes situations. If you would like to view the presentation, you can find it here.

Have a great week,

Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at [email protected]