In recent years virtual leadership has matured from an exception to being almost the norm in international organisations. Many conversations I have with leaders who are more and more exposed to virtual leadership show that different mindsets are necessary to be effective in a virtual context. Some leaders who have a charismatic presence in person seem to fade almost to nothing when operating in a virtual world.
In this blog I am focusing on my most important tips how you can boost your presence as a leader in the virtual meetings be it in audio only conferences or on video/audio supported collaboration platforms, like Adobe Connect, Cisco WebEx, Zoom web conferencing, Vitero etc.
From all the conversations with leaders who are really perceived as having a high presence in their virtual meetings I have extracted the following fundamental mindset change which I believe creates this effect:
These leaders have reflected their behaviour in face to face settings to identify which behavioural patterns result in high presence. They then looked for an equivalent pattern in their virtual interactions and developed it into a habit through conscious conditioning.
Let me give you an example: One leader recognised that part of his ‘high’ presence in big meetings was supported by standing upright at the lectern with shoulders slightly pulled back. His equivalent in a video-supported online session is now sitting upright in front of the computer rather than slouching in his office chair. This leads to a more conscious attendance in a meeting and also helps him to create a stronger voice as lungs are functioning much better in such a posture.
I recommend you take some time to go through such a reflective exercise and define your virtual equivalents to your in-person behaviour. This should enable you to enhance the impact of your presence.
In the second part of this blog, due next week, I will look deeper into some specific aspects of how you can boost your presence in virtual meetings taking place via different platforms.