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Productivity Tip #5: Know your video-conference personality

Global Operations Director

Is your business embracing new technology? If it isn’t, you could be missing a trick. Or rather, several tricks. Using technologies such as video conferencing increases productivity, lowers costs and reduces your company’s impact on the environment.

But then, you probably knew that already. Using these technologies doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the most out of them though. When business psychologist Pearn Kandola looked into the psychology of video communication for a 2009 study, she identified six personality types. Knowing which one you are will enable you to adapt your behaviour to make the most out of this new technology.

Here are the personalities and tips for each on getting the most out of video conferencing:

Leader/Dominator: You’re the person who usually leads the meeting. Visual cues will help to curb your tendency to dominate discussions, so watch other people and only chip in when there’s a protracted pause – not just someone drawing breath.

Energiser/Distracter: You’re engaged one minute and distracted the next. Video conferencing is good for you because it’s more stimulating than a phone call, but turn your Blackberry off: people can see if you’re checking your emails.

Thinker/Shrinker: You’re a quiet genius who thinks about things deeply. That’s fine during a video conference, as long as you don’t sit staring into space. Look interested and alert and your colleagues won’t interpret your quietness negatively.

Friendly/Talkalot: You’re an extrovert who can talk over others. Being able to see people makes you more aware of natural pauses in a conversation – and less likely to fill them. Watch people’s body language for cues.

Creative/Impractical: You’re full of creative, boundary-pushing ideas, so video conferencing can be quite grounding for you (there’s a lot to keep your attention). Just remember to keep the ideas coming.

Grounded/Obstructive: You’re stubbornly pragmatic. Video conferencing gives you a visual presence at meetings, so there should be no need to make the same point several times. Have your say and move on.

Which personality type are you? Do you find video conferencing a productive way to hold meetings?