What Is Virtual Intelligence In The Workplace and How Do We Develop It?

We all know about IQ and we’re very aware of EQ but what about VQ? The new metric “virtual quotient” or VQ, measures one’s virtual intelligence. The rise of work-from-home and hybrid positions has generated a need for a new set of skills. The evolving nature of virtual spaces and the assortment of tools used to facilitate teamwork is what makes these new working conditions so complex. To address the challenges of post-pandemic work environments, it’s become equally important to improve the VQ of our teams by investing in the following areas.

Create Communication Guidelines

Working in the same office makes it easy to carve out time to speak to a colleague or pop in to ask a quick question. When working remotely it’s harder to gauge a colleague’s availability and it can be tricky to decide the best medium to communicate with them. Between Slack, Zoom, email, and project management programs it’s not always obvious what the best way is to share information. Establishing guidelines early on creates confidence amongst your team and reduces confusion.

Build Trusting Relationships

Establishing trust in a virtual environment takes more effort and intentionality than face-to-face relationships. Virtual conversations tend to exist in 30 to 60 minute increments leaving little time for sharing non-work related information. However, relational trust is needed to have successful teams. Investing in people is a worthwhile endeavor. You can do so by allocating additional time for sharing candid information and creating space for others to share as well.

Foster Competence-Based Trust

Once communication guidelines have been set and your team is practicing productive behaviors, competence-based trust can be built. Clarify what is and isn’t within their skillset or job description to help manage expectations. Establish timelines, acknowledge the receipt of information and articulate priorities. Regular updates and timely responses also generate trust and create peace of mind.

A lot goes into strengthening the virtual intelligence of an organization. However, the investment is often rewarded with happier and more productive employees.