Community Psychiatry’s Pavan Madan, M.D. was featured in TechRepublic discussing how to express empathy while engaging in Zoom meetings.

6 ways to best express empathy in Zoom meetings

By: N.F. Mendoza | August 18, 2020 | TechRepublic

Decisions for organizations to return to the offices are plagued with fears of the COVID-19’s second wave and potentially nonenforceable safety measures. Both schools and businesses have opened and closed within days because of reported outbreaks and necessary quarantines. Teachers are protesting edicts to return to the classroom.

Companies across the country may grapple with continuing the new normal indefinitely, but remote work is here to stay, even if it means longer hours for employees. The potential for safety and closing the wage gap make telecommuting more appealing than the uncertainty of a return to an actual office.

And with remote work invariably comes a series of virtual meetings, from video weekly one-on-ones, daily team conference calls, among many other modes of communication.

5. Tackle the Zoom/video meeting challenges, said Dr. Pavan Madan, a psychiatrist with Community Psychiatry in Davis, CA,  “Expressing empathy on Zoom can be difficult. Pay attention to your body language. Your eyes and head are doing most of the nonverbal communication. Limit hand gestures since they tend to get exaggerated on video, especially if you are sitting too close to the camera. [Consider] the tech you’re using; it can impact how you’re expressing yourself. Use a good quality camera so you can be seen clearly, and better gauge nonverbal communication.

6. Avoid distractions, Madan said. “Have a clutter-free background so the other person doesn’t get distracted to the point of misinterpreting your reactions. Don’t have other browser windows open during important conversations. Consider using wireless earbuds so you can listen easily and talk comfortably and calmly, in a low-tone of voice. Consider whisper-quiet mice and keyboards for distraction-free typing and clicking during conversations.

Click here to read the entire article on TechRepublic.

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