Get To Know
Cultivating your own conversational style
allows you to work well with others
By Nicklas Balboa
Hybrid-work models, alongside the pandemic, are
seemingly here to stay. So what have we learned
from the last year?
If you want to work well with others in an office that
shifts from in-person to digital, then it’s time to get to
know yourself better. And the best way to do that, is
by striking up a conversation.
Whether you’ve returned to the office or not, chances
are you’ve worked with individuals and teams in a
remote capacity. While remote work was a necessary
adaptation to the virulent virus, many workers—
including Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan—expressed their
fatigue from the difficulties of endless virtual
Now it appears that hybrid-work models—a few days
a week on-site and off-site—are the next disruption
to workplaces. While hybrid-work sounds like a
step in the right direction, it presents even more
Online Versus Offline Personality
It’s no secret that working together in person creates
a special, humankind of interplay. People ebb and
flow throughout the day—in a shared space—which
leads to our normative social rules of engagement.
Take that process online, and some of that
connection is lost—even depersonalized. And to the
surprise of many, that can change your behavior.
It’s a spectrum of change ranging from good to bad.
For example, perhaps video-chat conversations have
helped you to think more before speaking—due a
lack of side conversations during the long waits in
between speaker turns—however you tend to cut
people off more—because it’s hard to get a word in
It doesn’t stop there. Zoom is only one of a dozen
potential applications that workers communicate
through. Within each one, people develop
conversational norms. For example, Slack allows
for rapid communication amongst teams, so
that problems can get solved quicker and more
seamlessly than via email. On the flip side, the ease
of use—that makes the application so convenient—
also acts as a source of stress and anxiety when you
can’t get away from it.
With all of these moving targets, some of our
conversational habits slip by unnoticed. After all,
we are human, and not eagle-eyed. But with a little
preparation and guidance, you can have a say in how
you act, feel, and think on and offline.
All humans have blind spots. They help us navigate
quickly and efficiently in a world that bombards us
with more than enough data to send anyone into
overload. Blind spots—especially the unhealthy
ones—become roadblocks that prevent us from
connecting with others.
Personal Excellence presented by HR.com SEPTEMBER 2021 16 Submit Your Articles