Published: 17th April 2021
Let's follow the online decorum: The dos and don'ts of Zoom meetings you need to know about
We often disregard the importance of the mind-body connection and how deeply it affects us. Rather than diving into details, let The Coach just tell you this...
How are you actually supposed to conduct yourself during online conference calls? Well, after the incident of Arvind Kejriwal laughing and yawning during a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, I decided to dedicate today’s column to just this topic.
Whether we like it or not, video conferencing has become an integral part of our lives after the pandemic and also the NEW NORMAL of working. If I take into consideration the present situation of rising cases, it looks like the only way forward to survive.
The Double P strategy
We’re used to taking things for granted. In most cases, since we have the option to work from anywhere inside our home, we tend to take this privilege for granted and focus ONLY on our COMFORT but seldom to the comfort of others. When I say comfort of others, I mean the lighting, acoustics, signal strength, height of the furniture and so on. This is exactly why I follow a PP Mantra, which stands for PLAN AND PRACTICE. The process is simple but does require documentation. Make a list of the places that you are the most comfortable in. Make sure you have everything you need during the call. Once this is done, then you need to test your network speed and assess if it’s optimal. Ensure that there are no windows in the background and you’re not in a space that echoes your voice. To be 100% confident, you need to have demo calls with someone in your family.
Although I prefer laptops during calls, there are times when people have to join using their phones. Irrespective of what you’re using, it makes a world of difference when a wired earpiece with a microphone is used. When you use your phone, always use it in portrait mode and ensure that the autorotate is on, otherwise you’ll be seen sideways. When using phones, either divert your calls, use the same SIM for internet or use WiFi.
Not being on time is a thing of the past in online meetings. You cannot give excuses like traffic. Make it a point to log in 10 minutes in advance and keep everything you need ready. Even when the call is almost coming to an end, do not be very eager to log off. Wait for the person in charge to close the session.
To say that we’ll never be interrupted is impossible. But handle your interruptions like a boss. Ensure that you mute your conversations in case someone interrupts you or appears on camera. If it happens unexpectedly, don’t be nervous. Laugh it off.
Last but not the least, RESPECT EVERYONE online in front of others, irrespective of your differences on a personal level. What we don’t usually understand is that we’re ruining our own reputation by disrespecting others. Yawning or laughing at others in a forum only shows the lack of interest, level of seriousness and how involved you actually are. Allow everyone to talk and be assertive in putting across your point. Rather than pointing fingers or calling out names, use references like ‘my colleague’, ‘my teammate’ and so on.
Coach’s ProTip: We often disregard the importance of the mind-body connection and how deeply it affects us. Rather than diving into details, let me just tell you this... Wear what is apt, comfortable and makes you confident. Imagine yourself in the room and maintain eye contact with the camera. Do make some small talk and break the ice before you begin... All work and no play... Right?!