Will reading the expression of the eyes be the new skill required by Leadership, post Covid?

Will reading the expression of the eyes be the new skill required by Leadership, post Covid?

I have started to think so.

Although a lot of our meetings are happening on virtual platforms, I still resort to personal meetings if I have to deliver a sensitive message. And it is done in my cabin, maintaining all the safety norms of keeping safe distancing, and wearing the inevitable face mask.

And here is where the challenge comes.

While I would deliver my point in the past, I had an access to view the entire look on the face of the recipient. How he/she would smile, or twitch the lips, or make attempts to speak……

All I can see of the face now, is the eyes.

Virtual meetings give me a fair impression of the person. And it works fine for regular follow-ups, work discussions and problem solving. We have even done a successful Induction of a new recruit over remote on a computer screen!! But I have always liked to pick the feelers given away by the body language- rubbing of the hands, or shaking of the knees.

So, sitting across an Executive (and now, at least 3 meters apart!) will always be my preferred way to go, if I have to communicate- put my point across, and also read into all the unsaid messages that I receive. An Executive who is expressive by himself/ herself is easier to understand. But there are loads of others, who find it difficult to speak up.

But, I need to hear. And I am now resorting to read the expression in the eyes- particularly to catch the unspoken sparkle that shines in an Executive who has just been motivated!

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