Screen Relationships

We refer to Screen Relationships as the capacity to create professional relationships with customers, suppliers, business partners or other people in a professional context, be it internal or external to your company.

Building relationships is about PERCEPTIONS of how people build trust, listen to others, show support, create a sense of feeling, give respect, offer flexibility, empower people, and get engagement.

Screen Relationships does not refer to social platforms or screen encounters via dating sites, apps, or networking groups.

How it's Different

Meeting someone for the first time on screen is not as human.  The exchange of business cards, the shaking of hands, the smiles and small gestures are absent.  The perceptual building blocks often take time to develop in a normal, face-to-face context.  They also usually take place OUTSIDE the business context, during social events, meals, or other networking situations. 

Why it's Important

First impressions count even more because the social aspects are difficult or impossible to develop on screen.  Starting a business relationship from scratch when you are meeting for the first time on screen is quite different than face-to-face because the critical first impressions can be based on technology, bandwidth issues, lighting, or sound, which contribute to the perceptions people will have of your screen image – good or bad.

How to do it Better

Invest in audio-visual material that ensures the highest quality image and sound as possible.  Integrated webcams and microphones are not always the best quality!

Take a human interest in each person you speak to on-line.

Keep your personal introductions short, to the point, and human, not just business oriented.

Plan for time to get to know the others, either in a virtual coffee break or even a planned meal together.

Use your voice to demonstrate your empathy and desire to discover new things about the people you speak to.

Avoid monopolizing the air-time, and allow for others to contribute.