I am transitioning to working from a home office and my O3's have become more challenging now that I am having them over the phone.

1.) It seems like it is harder to elicit input from the associates. They do not have as much to fill "their time".

2.) I am finding it harder to show that I am listening. When they do have something to tell me I find that my silent listening often gets a "are you there?" every now and then.

For those of you who work out of a home office, how have you dealt with these issues?


pmoriarty's picture
Training Badge

I have found telephone O3's to work fine. It took some of my directs a little more time to warm up to opening up during their time. Perhaps the lack of facial expressions makes it harder to establish trust? My advice is to stick with it and it will probably get better.

rwwh's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I am working in a normal office, but one of my team members has been working in another location on a project for the last 5 months. We do not have a problem to find subjects to talk about! Think about it: with all the others I am having coffee and lunch together every day!

cwcollin's picture

Thanks for the replies. I know that you are right in terms of time making it better, but it is definitely hard to get used to.

I'm especially concerned that my O3's with my new team will have to begin like this ( as opposed to my current team that I had time to establish a face to face relationship with).

sklosky's picture

Hi Charles,

One area where I need to improve is in my phone skills. Perhaps you and/or your team can take this as an area for improvement so that your phone based one on ones are more effective.

I bet there are some good resources available for development in this area. I've seen one thread online about good and bad gear. I'm sure there are also techniques for minimizing poor comms on phone such as repeating what you're saying, not paying attention, pregnant pauses, etc.

For instance, I recall Mark H. mentioned that he closes his eyes when he's on the phone to minimize visual interruptions.

Maybe we should start a thread on this topic.


jhack's picture

Simple trick I find very helpful: I use a hands-free headset so that I can take good notes on the O3 form. And I feel more natural, sitting as I would across a desk talking to them.

And turn off the monitor, sound, cell phone, etc.