This post is part of the 30-Day Bloom Your Online Relationships Challenge. If you’d like to play along, you can sign up here (don’t worry — it’s FREE). We’re all working through these small, powerful actions together and sharing our questions, learnings and experiences in a Facebook group. And we’d love to have you join us!

We Crave the Sound of Your Voice and the Gaze of Your Eyes

What you say — the words you use to communicate and the way you string them together — is definitely important to how people understand you. But not nearly as important as your nonverbal communication.

Nonverbal communication represents two-thirds of our communication. And yes, the tone — or sound — of your voice as well as things like your blink rate, how long you make eye-contact, even the way you move your eyebrows, are all considered non-verbal cues.

If communication is key to meaningful relationships (and I’m pretty sure it is), it stands to reason that this is something we need to work on.

It’s also why we form trust and stronger relationships so much faster in person than we do online. Because when you and I are sitting across from each other, we have access to the whole communication pie.

Knowing this, one of the first things I did after I launched my business online was to reach out to the folks on my list and invite them to Skype with me for 15 minutes. To share a bit about themselves and their lives. (I promised there’d be NO salesy conversations. At. All.) I even offered to buy them coffee!*

I must’ve held nearly 100 Skype sessions over the course of three months. And it was worth every minute.

I got to hear stories about where people lived. What they did when they weren’t working on their business. And what mattered most to them.

Some of our conversations were deeply profound. Some were friendly and light. But ALL of them were a true gift.

Real. Human. Connections.

Today, I do a lot of my teaching and other work via Google Hangouts for exactly this reason. Seeing people “in the flesh” allows each of us in the meeting to put a face with the voice and to see nonverbal cues in action.

It’s made all the difference in terms of depth of relationships.

Would you like to try it? Need a little practice? Let’s schedule something!

The only rule is that we won’t talk business. Okay?

*Yes, I was prepared to send each person a Starbucks card. Most folks generously told me they didn’t need the coffee bucks and were just glad to have a heart-to-heart with me.

My challenge to you: 

Invite one of your Facebook friends or email subscribers — someone you’ve never talked to before — to join you for a quick Skype or Google Hangout conversation. Don’t forget to enable your cameras!

Extra Credit: Write a blog post about your experience.

Once you’ve held your virtual meetup, come visit us on Facebook and tell us what happened. Was it easy for you to find something to talk about? Hard? No right or wrong answers here — we’re all just experimenting!

Image credit: Leyton Parker