Communication in the age of online meetings

Recently, return to office is gradually starting, but there are still many online meetings, and my there are many online meeting application such as ZOOM, Webex, Teams, and Bluejeans in my laptop.

How often do you turn on the camera at the time of the meeting?

I turn on the camera when talking to people from other companies, but when I talk to coworkers in the my company, I usually turn off the camera. Furthermore many of co-workers around me also turn off the camera. Therefore, there are many times when everyone is silent just by displaying the icon. It’s difficult to read in an atmosphere without returning anything.

As many of you may know, according to the “Mehrabian’s Law” proposed by Albert Mehrabian, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1971, The degree of influence of “visual information (Visual)” on people by appearance and gestures such as facial expressions and eyes is 55%. “auditory information (Vocal)” such as voice volume and speaking speed is 38%, and “linguistic information (Verbal)” which is the content of the conversation itself is 7%. It is the “law of 3V”, also known as the “rule of 7-38-55”. 

In other words, recipients are more likely to receive invisible emotions from nonverbal communication. Turning on the camera allows you to tell the recipient more accurately what you want to say. Imagine, If you use a chat tool to convey only the language, you may have the experience of misrepresenting it. Some people say that the camera should be turned on from the viewpoint of etiquette. From the perspective of wanting to convey what you want to say more accurately, or to convey the reaction to the other people’s explanation, it seems more effective to have a meeting with turning on the camera.

As an aside, Mehrabian’s law is based on the question, “What should a person given contradictory information prioritize in judging the emotions and attitudes of the other person?” By no means does it prove that “look is important to people”. Mehrabian himself complains about this, “My research is misunderstood.”

You often see information that extremely explains that facial expressions and speaking styles rather than contents or the content is not very important, but linguistic information plays a major role in conveying information as a major premise. The content that describes what you want to convey is same . I think it is possible to cover a little the insufficiency of the content with speaking. However if your content is insufficient, you may be judged that you’re all talk.

Now that online meetings are the mainstream, in order to convey your message more accurately, you would like to turn on the camera and make effective use of nonverbal communication.

Thank you and good luck on your communication life.


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