In any conversation, there are always distractions. There are always things that can degrade the quality of the conversation. So when you are dealing with a dispersed team and a lot of your communication is online, things like poor tech, a laptop that’s not keeping up, or poor broadband can really cause a problem. When working from home, if you are struggling to get good bandwidth, make sure things like cloud-based backups are switched off, or connect yourself with an ethernet cable straight to the broadband hub. Other people using the wifi can cause it to degrade pretty quickly, which can contribute to ‘noise’ that is impeding you. Actual noise, such as people chatting in the background, can also disrupt effective communication. Try and identify these distractions and eliminate them.
Another possible distraction can be a poorly managed meeting. In an online meeting one or two people can sometimes dominate the space by speaking louder or just by being more confident. If you are in the leadership role, make sure this isn’t you. Try to be in listening mode instead of talking mode, and let your team speak more than you.
Another issue that can sometimes cause interference is if you’re dealing with an international team or audience. Clearly, there can be language difficulties, but there can also be problems with time differences. There could also be cultural coding, which could mean that someone may not understand the language you’re using if you use slang or specific references. This can also stop effective communication.
So, make sure that you identify what is causing interference, what might be causing a breakdown in your communications, and deal with it eloquently and as effectively as you can to remove it.