Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you found yourself feeling challenged in the latest online business environment?

Does this seem even harder to deal with on an international level?

Today we are talking about what the latest business challenges are in this post pandemic era as most business meetings have started to be held on Zoom.

You will see what these challenges are and likely be able to relate to them, but you will also learn how to deal with them.

These are unusual times, and this is another example of that and how we must move forward differently in this environment.

Get Your Transcripts Today!

Make sure you understand every word you hear on All Ears English.

Bring your English to the advanced level with new vocabulary and natural expressions.

Subscribe and get the transcripts delivered by email.

Learn to speak naturally with the American accent.

Click here to subscribe and save 50%

Understanding The Latest Challenges

Today we have Peter Yawitz on our show again, and he’s going to share some expertise. Peter was interviewed in Episode 1330: Be Assertive for More Success in Global Business and he is back for a second time to continue the conversation on business.

Peter is a best selling author and management communications consultant, is the President of the company Clear Communication.

Book is “Flip Flops and Microwave Fish: Navigating the Do’s and Don’ts of Workplace Culture.”

He addresses all of the little things that come up in a workplace culture, and these are all very important.

He’s going to talk about how to respond to the new challenges in the post-pandemic era with business meetings on Zoom.

In the past we talked about how to be assertive in global business, and that has all changed a bit.

The landscape of global business has changed a lot, and now it’s a whole new slew of issues.

When Peter talks to companies, it’s more about how to keep our employees safe and keep the business running.

Now we talk about things such as Zoom fatigue, which is understandable.

Peter still works with many international companies to address this and how to use a tool such as Zoom to be effective in business.

You can use it in a way that helps you to stay successful and still make connections, even if they are online.

We still have to do business and be successful, and our listeners still need to do business in English and be successful.

Understanding The Common Problems Right Now

There are some problems that have come about due to these unusual times and online work environment.

Identifying what these problems are can help you to combat them, and ensure that you can work through them effectively.

There are two main problems that you want to be aware of, and that you have likely dealt with yourself.

  • Hard to read some of the nonverbal cues on Zoom: Biggest change is in our communication, as much of it is nonverbal. In many cultures this plays a big role in the way that people communicate. Now it’s hard to read the subtle cues that come from nonverbal communication because you are just appearing on a screen. Something gets lost here as the innuendo or context is hard to interpret. Is somebody smiling? What are they thinking?
  • Lack of clarity of what people should be doing: People are fearful of asking for clarification. It may be rude in certain cultures to ask the boss something. You may not have the resources or even the clarity that you once did to know what to get done. You may not know where to start or what you need to do next. You don’t get the “water cooler” talk with co-workers to talk through things–and the end result is a lack of clarity overall. Meetings tend to be scheduled back to back on Zoom, and there’s often no time to continue on and ask for clarification at the end of things. If you don’t have proper clarification then it can make it hard to do your job or to move forward with purpose.

These are the challenges that you have probably faced yourself in this online meeting environment.

The good thing to know is that you can overcome them, and that’s what we’re focusing on today.

Working Through The Challenges

Now that you are aware of some of the challenges, you want to find a way to work through them.

Being able to read the nonverbal cues in this environment may be difficult, but asking for and gaining clarity is essential.

If you are passive you may tend to stay passive, almost to a fault.

You may be concerned about speaking up if you are not clear on what is happening or what is expected.

Learning is not a sign of weakness, and you should always ask for clarification.

If you don’t ask for that clarification, then you won’t ever know what to really do and it will cause problems.

Don’t use Zoom as a crutch or a reason as to why you can’t get clarification.

Ask for a meeting or discussion afterwards if you need some help with talking through things.

Being assertive is necessary sometimes, particularly in this environment and situation.

This is how you get answers and how you help to progress with your learning, as well as to know how to move forward.

Be the person who has the courage and the know how to talk through things and to get the help or clarity that you really need.

This is a sign of advanced learning and makes you a great employee.

You are adding value to a meeting if you write things up and send out for comments for example.

The idea is that you all have to be on the same page after the meeting is over and you move forward together.

Meeting minutes don’t necessarily need to be formal or document everything.

A good spreadsheet that is broke down by topic with deadlines and details contained within can be a great takeaway to get everyone on the same page after a meeting is over.

Zoom meetings can be so prescribed and doesn’t allow for much time to revisit topics or talk through background.

Therefore meeting minutes or something to help you to align before a meeting starts can be instrumental to success.

It may also be helpful to say at the beginning the few things that you hope to accomplish or what the intention of the meeting may be today.

This gives people something to focus on and ensures that you all know what to focus on as the meeting begins.

This helps us to learn and be ready to participate in the meeting.

This settles the brain in and is proven to help you to get the most out of the meeting and ensure that you are ready to take things on.

Being clear at the beginning of the meeting, taking minutes at the meeting, and then following up afterwards can all help.

Navigating The Return To Work

As companies are starting to go back to work in some parts of the world, others are not yet.

This can be a challenge as you conduct international business, particularly when the timelines to return do not align.

This is a common trend as companies are bringing back employees and management in different ways.

There is anxiety about going back, no matter what the situation and you want to think that through.

People are still figuring this out as working from home may have worked quite well, while others may have struggled with it.

Do you feel left out if some employees are back in the home office and others are not?

This may be a personal issue or a style issue, as we all work differently.

You may feel like you are missing out on the daily conversations, though some people may not care much about this.

It will be important to advise people how to handle going back to the office, and what happens when some are back but not others.

Don’t forget what a personal toll this has taken on all of us–everyone has a story that has come out of this and we all have struggles.

Going back to the office without acknowledging these things and these struggles isn’t healthy.

A community meeting to talk about what it feels like to be back is so important.

It can be quite helpful to talk through fears or concerns, and it can create great morale.

Emotional intelligence is such a big part of this, and can help you to reconnect with your coworkers again.

You have to consider the people side of things in order to be successful in doing things.

It’s a different situation in all parts of the world and in various company cultures, and so this will be relevant and current for some time to come.

You can learn more and find out more about Peter and his insight by visiting

You can also find him at his handle which is @advicefromsomeoneelse’sdad on Twitter or Linked In.

You can find his book on Amazon everywhere in Kindle or hard copy format.

You can learn all about the concepts we discussed today and so much more if you check out what Peter has out there.


The entire way that we do business, particularly on an international level, has changed.

Though you may have experienced Zoom fatigue, it doesn’t have to hold you back from getting what you need out of meetings.

There are ways to be successful, even in an online environment, and you want to consider the ideas discussed here today.

You want to feel free to speak up, ask for clarity, and get what you need out of meetings so that you can move forward successfully.

These are unusual times, but getting back to normal can work if you keep these things in mind and move forward with purpose.

Peter’s Bio:

Peter Yawitz is the president of Clear Communication ( and founder, host, author, and advice columnist at Advice from Someone Else’s Dad (

He has been a communication coach, consultant, teacher, and facilitator for global companies for 30 years and for 10 years before that, was an eager young employee in fast-paced American workplaces wishing for advice on how to make smart work decisions and fit in.

Today, he trains individuals and teams around the world, helping them communicate effectively internally and externally, manage upward and sideways, and navigate the personalities, priorities, and peculiarities of their workplaces and their various constituencies. His book, Flip-Flops and Microwaved Fish: Navigating the Dos and Don’ts of Workplace Culture is full of great advice and humor for young professionals entering the workforce or for anyone who feels a bit uncertain about how to communicate at work.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X
  • App-Store-Button
  • google-play-badge
  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X