Are you the remote communicator that everyone shakes their head, knowing you will have a communication breakdown.
Your mic isn’t working. The connection is weak, and you keep losing your video. You can’t find the link to the meeting again!
I had to chuckle as I was writing this. I am the person who always logs in early, so my sound is automatically muted. Why? So I can work in the background and no one is greeted with the clacking of my keyboard. Someone calls on me to speak, and it takes me four sentences before I remember I am muted.
My husband is a tech coordinator for a local elementary school. When the school went virtual, he had to address many of these issues for the teachers. His recurring problem was the placement of the camera on his laptop. The manufacturer put the camera on the keyboard rather than the top of the screen. It made for some curious camera angels.
We have all been there. We have an 11 a.m. meeting with the office in London. You click on the link, and it just will not connect. You open the calendar item, and the Zoom link has disappeared. Your headset worked on the last call, why will not it work now!
Video Conferences are Here to Stay
In today’s COVID-19 remote work culture, business meetings via video conferencing platforms are the new normal. Without open communication and collaboration, work relationships become difficult. So, love it or hate it, it appears video conferencing is here to stay.
Today, let look at how we can make video communication a success even if you feel you are all thumbs with technology.
Here are three thoughts to provoke you, two ideas to inspire you, and one item to act on!
Three Thoughts to Provoke
Number One. Boundaries.
Yes, I know, I talk about boundaries a lot! Listen, video conferencing can be exhausting. You can log on and mentally tune out, but that doesn’t help you or your team.
To engage more fully, set the amount of time you will participate in video conferencing per day. Make sure you leave 15 or 30 minutes between calls. This allows you to move around, get a snack, or take care of business.
Push back if someone is scheduling a 2 or 3-hour long Zoom. Yes, I have received those invites as well. There is no way you are going to stay mentally engaged for that long. Ask if the session can be broken into two 45 minute sessions. Give everyone a break.
Request a meeting agenda. Maybe you don’t need to be there for the entire meeting and can log in when your agenda item is discussed.
Number Two. Office Hours.
You may not even need a video conference. Think about offering office hours for clients. You are available for them to collaborate and “chat” with you via a tool like Slack or Teams from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Your “office” door is open for any questions they may have. If needed, you can do a quick 10 minute “face to face” if the problem is too complicated for a text solution.
Number Three. Know Your Tech
Spend some time doing a tutorial on how to use Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Webex, or other video conferencing platforms you may need. You will save yourself a lot of time and energy by spending 30 minutes today to learn these platforms.
Have a cheat sheet handy with login information for these platforms. Have a central location or notebook. Note the name of the platform, the login URL, your username, where your password is located, and necessary notes. Here is a free login notebook for you with video tutorial links! It is created in PowerPoint but is formatted to print landscape 8.5 x 11.
At the beginning of the day, make sure your phone is charged, headset charged, and a backup available if needed.
Two Things to Inspire
Number One. We Can Change.
Are you resistant to change? Would you prefer to keep doing things the same way you have been doing it for the past 10 years? I feel your pain! Maybe you just don’t like the tech. It can be difficult to pivot.
Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D. is a parable about dealing with change. It is a good read.
Here is an excellent quote from the book.
“See what you’re doing wrong, laugh at it, change, and do better.”
Number Two. Enjoy.
Embrace and enjoy communication changes. I admit that some mornings I am not looking forward to a 9 a.m. video conference. I would prefer to just hunker down and get my work done.
Remember, though that this interaction is vital for the growth of business and also helps restore mental balance. While we may not be able to reach out and hug someone (I am a hugger), we can provide them with a smile, words of encouragement, and eye contact.
Steve Maraboli encourages us,
“It’s up to you today to start making healthy choices. Not choices that are just healthy for your body, but healthy for your mind.”
Your Action Item
Start your Video Conference Login Notebook today. It can be a simple notebook, a digital journal or you can download my Video Conferencing Login Notebook with the bonus video tutorial links. Print out a copy or keep it on your computer, just use it. It will simplify logging in daily to various platforms.
If you need help, Olinda Services is here to help you. We provide Executive Business Partner support for small businesses and non-profit executives. Lisa Olinda is the Chief Chaos Whisperer.
Olinda Services is currently looking to partner with another business. We would love to connect with you if your business is looking to grow, you need to nurture business contacts, or your systems need some refining.
Email Michael at email@example.com to schedule a time to talk to Lisa and discuss the chaos you need busted in your business.
Feel free to ask a question or comment here.