Break Bad Hybrid Habits

Don't let work-from-home habits tarnish your in-person persona.

In January 2022, 70% of professionals worldwide worked remotely at least one day per week.

Have you ever lost weight, yet those you see daily don’t notice? Then, they first mention it the moment you come face-to-face with someone you haven’t seen in a while.

Psychologists call this phenomenon ‘inattentional blindness.’ It occurs when those you interact with daily fail to see your subtle changes. But what happens when you haven’t met face-to-face in a while?

As you return to in-person interactions, expect that previously unnoticed bad habits and new ones developed while working virtually will be magnified to those you haven’t seen. They risk distracting from our message and the ability to influence others to act.

These past two years, our cameras provided instant feedback. We noticed if we fidgeted, our hair was out of place, or if we sat too close or far away. That visual feedback helped us make immediate corrections but became a crutch.

We didn’t have to think about how we presented ourselves; we saw it.

Breaking Bad Habits

More in-person conversations require you to think about how you constantly present yourself. These two simple tips will help you determine what needs to change now before it steals your listeners’ focus later.

More in-person conversations require you to think about how you constantly present yourself. These two simple tips will help you determine what needs to change now before it steals your listeners’ focus later.

The one step you can take to immediately enhance your influence is to record yourself.

  1. Record yourself.

Next time you are on a virtual call, record yourself. You can easily record on your phone. Immediately watch the playback and note your hand gestures, facial expressions, posture, and presentation. Be honest and recognize if your movements distracted from your message or added to what you had to say.

  1. Write it down.

After watching your video playback, write down everything you wish to change. Choose one habit per week to focus on improving. Write it on a post-it note and place it in a location readily seen as a reminder to remain focused. Record yourself again each week's end to determine if you’re improving.

Continuing these tips creates a feedback loop for ongoing improvement. It isn’t hard, but it does require intentional effort to ensure your message is heard. Doing the work now ensures bad habits aren’t magnified when connecting in person.

Related Articles

Say More. Speak Less.

Say More. Speak Less.

The seven most dreaded words at the beginning of every meeting are, 'Today we are here to talk about.' Follow that sentence with a long-winded monologue or death by PowerPoint, and you've got the makings for a miserable meeting. Instead of inviting your listeners to...

When Feedback Hurts

When Feedback Hurts

Feedback can hurt. We claim to be open to feedback until we dislike an opinion. Then, we become defensive and resistant, making excuses for our behavior. It makes us feel vulnerable, especially when what we hear differs from what we believe to be true. What we choose...

Embracing Discomfort

Embracing Discomfort

Why are we so willing to embrace the pain and discomfort of strengthening our bodies but fight against the pain and discomfort of strengthening our influence? Imagine the soreness your body feels after a tough workout. Twenty-four or 48 hours later, you remain...