10 Ways to Connect Deeply Over Zoom

I’ve got good news and bad news for you. First, the bad news. Covid-19 is now fully out of control and the vaccine’s effect won’t be improving how we live for about another six months. That means we will still need to use Zoom to connect with friends and family for quite a while. Yet, I’m here to offer you some good news. It is possible — if you know the right methods — to connect very deeply with friends and family over Zoom. In fact, it’s even feasible for your connections to be even better over Zoom than in person. Yet, without the right methods, “Zooming” with friends and family can be downright depressing and unfulfilling, so it’s important to learn this valuable skill.

I first recognized the value of creating deep contact on Zoom when several of my High School friends organized a “Zoom get together.” Unfortunately, I was not in charge of how this Zoom call would go. What happened is that my friends spent most of their time interrupting each other and talking about the weather and Covid. Not only was the conversation superficial, it felt disjointed, rambling, and unfulfilling. My High School friends and I have not spoken to each other since. The whole thing was a bust.

Up till this Zoom call with my High School friends, I had immensely enjoyed connecting with friends and family over Zoom. On these calls, people would often tell me at the end of our calls, “That was the best Zoom call I’ve ever had.” As an author of the bestseller, “More Love, Less Conflict,” I have specialized in creating simple ways couples can connect deeply with each other that are both quick and easy. On my Zoom calls, I would simply use some methods from my book that inevitably led to deep, intimate, and profoundly fulfilling conversations. After the unsatisfying call with my High School friends, I figured that more people could benefit from knowing these simple techniques.

Setting Your Intention

The first key to creating a profoundly satisfying Zoom call is to state your intention at the beginning of the call. This need not sound weird. For example, you can say something like, “I’m really looking forward to spending this hour with you. I’ve even shut off my phone so I can spend quality time with you. I’ve missed you and I’m really looking forward to connecting deeply with you again — even though we can’t physically be with each other.” Of course, your intention or words can be different than that, but any intention you state will be better than not having an intention at all.

When you tell people you’re Zooming with what your intention is, it helps them to clarify what their hopes for the call are as well. Normally, we’re not clear as to what we hope to get from a call, and that lack of clarity can often lead to a rambling, superficial outcome. Having just one person state their intention gives the call a clear direction, and clarity leads to deeper connections and a more satisfying experience.

Get Fully Present

During our busy, often chaotic lives, it can be hard to let go of all our worries and really “be” with others. This is especially true when the person we’re trying to be with is not physically present with us. Therefore, it can be helpful to come up with a quick ritual that helps you and your “zoom mates” to let go of distractions and be fully present with each other. This can take many forms. Some of my favorite ways to do this include the following:

1. Ask a question, such as, “Is there anything you need to say or let go of in order to be more fully present with me right now?”

2. Listen to a favorite song together before launching into conversation

3. Read a favorite quote or poem that inspires you

4. Do a spontaneous guided meditation for a couple of minutes

5. Ask to spend a minute in silence just to look at each other and connect in your heart before beginning to talk

Of course, you need to find what feels right and works for you. I’ve found that people I connect with over Zoom feel grateful for my “taking charge” in the ways I’ve described. Everyone wants to connect deeply, especially during this crazy and stressful time. Yet, most people don’t know how to do that over Zoom. When you make suggestions that lead to more depth and intimacy, you’ll almost always find that your friends and family will be impressed with your expertise and open to your efforts.

Ask Great Questions

An important key to creating deep conversation and connection is to ask good questions. On my website, FindingHappiness.com, I offer people for free what I call the “12 Questions for Creating Instant Intimacy with Anyone.” Here are a few of the questions that I think often lead to intimate connection:

1. What would you do now if you had no fear and you knew you could not fail? 2. What is something you’ve done recently that you’re proud of? 3. What’s one of the most miraculous things you’ve ever experienced? 4. Is there anything you’ve been hesitant to say to me? If so, I’m open to hearing it.

5. What do you feel you need at this time in your life to be even happier?

When asking questions to your friends or family over Zoom, make sure you listen attentively, and ask any follow-up questions that naturally arise as the conversation unfolds. Since you’ve already set the intention to “go deep” in the conversation, your Zoom mates will likely follow your lead by asking you some of the same questions you’ve asked them.

The key to creating intimacy in a conversation is hidden in the word intimacy: in to me see. When we share vulnerable information about yourself to another person, deep connection happens. In a world where so many people are feeling lonely, and the hunger for intimacy is greater than ever, your guidance will be like a healing salve.

Like any expertise, learning to have deeply meaningful Zoom connections is a skill that you can better at with a little practice. By using the three methods of setting an intention, getting fully present, and asking great questions, you can create magical moments over Zoom with your friends and family. While it may be several months before you can safely hug distant loved ones, the good news is that the care you share can still be experienced. With the help of Zoom and the right methods, anything is possible. So, who would you like to “go deep” with today?

is the author of 12 books and a frequent guest on Oprah. His website is FindingHappiness.com and his podcast is “Awareness Explorers.” email: iamjonr@aol.com

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