In today’s digital age, where virtual interactions have become the norm, it’s crucial to develop effective strategies for dealing with conflict in a virtual environment. You can’t feel the other person’s energy in a virtual environment, so being in conflict can be difficult. Without the luxury of observing facial expressions or body language, we rely solely on words, which can sometimes lead to misinterpretations and misunderstandings.

Providing feedback in a virtual environment poses even more unique challenges. Due to the fact that 7% of communication is nonverbal, we miss out on important cues that help us understand the intention behind someone’s words. We can’t see or experience the subtle nuances that a physical setting offers, making it harder to navigate conflicts.

1) Feedback Provides Growth

One common concern is feeling abrasive when providing redirecting feedback in a virtual setting. Have you ever had the thought,”I feel like I am being abrasive when giving constructive feedback in a zoom meeting.” If you can relate, the absence of nonverbal cues may make you unsure of how your message was received. However, it’s important to remember that feedback, when given constructively, is an opportunity for growth and improvement. I try to look at feedback as a gift; it’s a chance for individuals to learn and develop, even when their communication style differs significantly.

2) Be Intentional When Connecting

To effectively handle conflict in virtual environments, we must be intentional about connecting. Establishing clear channels of communication and setting expectations for respectful dialogue is essential. Utilizing video calls whenever possible can help bridge the gap, as visual cues can enhance understanding and create a more engaging interaction. Active listening and paraphrasing can ensure that messages are accurately interpreted. Start each virtual meeting sharing a personal story to continue building relationship.

3) Find Common Ground

Embracing empathy and assuming positive intent can diffuse conflicts before they escalate. Recognizing that everyone’s communication style is unique and influenced by various factors is crucial in fostering understanding and collaboration. By taking the time to understand each other’s perspectives and striving to find common ground, we can create a harmonious virtual environment.

In conclusion, while dealing with conflict in a virtual environment can presents its challenges, it’s important to adapt your approach and mindset to foster intentional relationship building, open communication and trust. By acknowledging the limitations of virtual interactions and being mindful of the unique circumstances, we can navigate conflicts with grace and achieve positive outcomes.

If this practice resonates with you and you’re ready to up-level your career, fill out an application for a complimentary leadership breakthrough session to explore topics such as these and your goals. I guarantee you will walk away with value about your leadership goals and barriers to your ultimate success. Feel free to reach out and book a session.