As more people are working from home now than ever before, how we communicate is facing new challenges. How do we best express ourselves, nurture connections, meaningfully listen, and have our voices heard?

In an effort to drive conversation around how people can excel professionally while maintaining social connections, Women in Research (WIRe) hosted a webinar with the theme of “Finding Your Voice.”

Our very own Chief Customer Officer, Bonnie Breslauer, joined other successful industry professionals to discuss a variety of relatable topics. The three main speaking sessions were followed by a breakout portion, wherein attendees were able to openly discuss their concerns and advice for thriving, both in and out of the workplace.

Let the data talk.

Daniel Fitzgerald and Meghan Oates-Zalesky from InCrowd shared three guiding principles for research: letting the data direct your position, treating your respondents with respect, and engaging partners into the discussion. Collaborating together, with respect for data quality and collection methods, is how we can help drive conversations through the noise.

Establish your presence.

Fiona Blades from MESH Experience presented the significance of presenting yourself confidently and creating a professional presence on Zoom. If you’ve previously struggled to make your voice heard, online settings provide an even playing ground for everyone to share their ideas with their colleagues. Referring to physical presence, Blades exclaimed “I am big on Zoom!”

Let your authenticity shine.

Brin Moore from trustedtalent explained the importance of connecting with people on LinkedIn and even reaching out directly to companies you’re interested in. With a majority of interviews now taking place online, it’s important to let your authentic self shine through.

Engage thoughtfully.

One of the discussions following the sessions, titled Connecting on a Micro and Macro Level, was directed by Bonnie Breslauer from DISQO and Ariel Madway from Zappi. Even during these challenging times, Breslauer finds that people are very willing to engage and want to engage. People are looking to help drive their companies forward and enthusiasm is quite high.

Breslauer stated, “We’ve all had conference calls pre-COVID where the typical small talk is about the weather and the sports teams. Now, there’s deeper interaction happening that’s allowing us to lean into our relationships — to get closer to — our clients, partners, and colleagues.”

She explained that it’s important to take a few minutes to check in with customers before jumping into business — and it’s a two-way street. Breslauer finds that customers want to check in on her too! Fostering genuine relationships with your clients and working to bring them business value and success is how you’ll achieve success as well.

Our work and personal lives have merged into one and Madway has noticed a shift in people’s online presences as well. Rallying voices, personal stories, and a more human level of engagement can be seen on LinkedIn today. “Personal brand matters more, but keep in mind that what you say can be associated with the organization you work for.”

Although these times are unusual and stressful, it has created an opportunity for people to connect on a more meaningful level. Taking the time to share a few personal moments — whether with a colleague or a client — brings us closer to each other. People remember those who make the effort to listen, whether you’re taking 5 minutes out of your meeting agenda to thoughtfully check in or you’re tuning in to the feedback of your audience through market research.

Let’s seize the moment.

About WIRe

WIRe champions diversity in the market research industry by arming women with the tools to develop professionally, build connections, and stay inspired. They believe in the positive impact of women in business, and their mission is to advance the contributions and voice of women in research, both for themselves and for the greater good of the industry.

Interested in joining the WIRe community? Learn more about the organization and its upcoming events here.