Visual communication devices are another tool that can aid in a radical management environment. Notice the terminology “visual communications” rather than simply video or Web conferencing. There’s a difference between a video conference and a visual communication.
Anyone who has ever traveled and has used their laptop and one of the many free video conferencing programs, such as Skype, to communicate with friends and family has discovered the power of visual communications. Visual communications heighten the bond you have with someone when you cannot be with them in person. If this form of communication works with our family members, why aren’t we using this powerful tool with customers and collogues, such as a team member in a different city or an international client?
Visual communications helps you smooth out contentious give-and-take or handle emotional or sensitive issues. It also adds dimension to the interaction. There’s a reason why you shake someone’s hand when you meet them: the more senses you involve, the higher the connection. So anytime you can enhance communication between team members, the faster change will occur.
Many large companies have video conferencing systems that require a big fancy room with expensive equipment. That’s not the only option for video anymore. Today’s new computers come with a built-in video camera. That means you can do video conferencing on a personal laptop from your desk, your home, or anywhere in the world. The software is free and comes with your system. And with some computers, you can have multiple people on at the same time and video conference with them all at once.
Additionally, the new iPhone4 has video chat built in, which means you have the ability to do visual communications right on your phone. If someone on your team doesn’t have a new iPhone, don’t worry. Other smart phone providers will follow suit and in the near future all smart phones will have visual communication capabilities, as will all smart pads, such as the next generation iPad.