Managing remote teams' mental health: Nonverbal communication cues

When technology limits our interactions, how can you tell if your employees may need support? Some people are highly skilled at interpreting nonverbal communication, while others may need to make an effort. Listening, paying attention, and asking your employees about nonverbal cues will make you a better communicator and a better teammate.

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Video Transcript: Nonverbal Communication Cues 

In times of ambiguity, employees may experience a range of emotions.

Sometimes, anxiety, frustration, and uncertainty can be hard to notice. So, what can managers do to support their team's mental health during these unique times?

Listen. Pay attention. Ask.

People’s nonverbal communication cues—the way they listen, look, move, and react is a natural part of communication. In fact, research shows up to 93% of communication impact comes from nonverbal cues.

Tuning in to nonverbal cues can help managers gain valuable insight into their teams. However, in today’s remote workforce, nonverbal cues are limited to facial expressions. So the simple act of paying attention to nonverbal cues can be challenging.

Let's take a look:

ANIMATED CHARACTER 1:  How is everyone doing today?

ANIMATED CHARACTER 2: Oh, fine.

ANIMATED CHARACTER 3: OK. Great.

ANIMATED CHARACTER 1: Heads up I’m going to set up 1:1s with each of you this week to check in. Now let’s dive into the project updates.

I noticed you looked frustrated on the video call? Is there something that I can help you with?

I noticed you were quiet on the call. I wanted to get your thoughts on the project. How do you think it’s going?

I noticed you looked confused on the call. I wanted to check in and make sure you are understanding the project requirements?

NARRATOR: Managers don’t need to fix things for employees, but they can work to create a positive space that allows for productivity and improved performance. While some people are highly skilled at interpreting nonverbal communication, others may need to make an effort.

Listening, paying attention, and asking your employees about nonverbal cues will make you a better communicator and a better teammate!

 

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