It’s hard to have a difficult conversation with a person in another location. Without seeing and hearing contextual clues — tone of voice, facial expression, gestures — misunderstandings can easily arise. You may want to give feedback by video, but for a sensitive conversation like a performance review, ask your direct report how they’d be most comfortable meeting. Sure, video conferencing will allow for a more nuanced conversation, but if speaking by phone would put your employee more at ease, comply with their wishes. The more often you communicate by video during the course of the year, the more comfortable both of you will be using the medium. But if it’s not something you do often, don’t insist on it for an appraisal. Applying an unfamiliar technology to a conversation that’s already anxiety-inducing may only make it more stressful for your employee.


Credit: HBR