In an instant, schools, businesses, places of worship, families, and teams immersed themselves in the world of Zoom. It is a powerful, helpful tool. We can connect during this pandemic. Zoom allows us to share our thoughts, ideas, joys, concerns, frustrations, and solutions. If you have access to Zoom, it is a tool for connecting you to the people you care about or care for. And, it is wise to remember that it is just a tool. Perhaps, we can be strategic about when and how we use Zoom to avoid Zoom fatigue.
How many Zoom conversations did you have last week? Did you space them out? Were your meetings back to back? How long is too long for a Zoom meeting? Do you have Zoom fatigue?
Zoombombing aside, we need to ensure the tool is working for us during a time of extreme stress. This is a time to consider gold standard; the best practices for implementing this powerful tool. As Brene Brown says…this is an FFT moment (F..ing First Time). A moment to learn how to use Zoom to empower, engage, and ignite people to come together with purpose, goals and perhaps even vision.
Here are three things to consider as you decide which tool is best for an upcoming connection.
- When is a phone call better or best for a meeting?
- How much spaciousness do you have in your calendar?
- How will seeing each other enhance the outcomes?
Phone Vs. Zoom: I tell my clients that I am a much better coach on the phone than on the screen. The images distract me from listening deeply to the words of the client. The phone allows me to take notes, look down at reports, and stay engaged fully with the person’s voice. In a one on one, I often ask if we can just do a call. I encourage people to stand up, move around, and even walk with me if they are in a quiet place. When would you use phone instead of screen time?
Spaciousness: Booking back to back Zoom meetings can be exhausting. Watching people on the screen can be very stimulating. It is exciting and energizing for some, and draining for others. Creating some spaciousness between Zoom calls can reduce the fatigue. For example, schedule 50 minute instead of 60 minute conversations. Make it a hard stop at 50 minutes and then get up, go look out the window, stare at the sky, get a drink of water, do some stretches or push ups!. Do some self care to recharge and reset for the next Zoom. It’s amazing how 10 minutes of self care can reset your energy.
I Need to See You: Do you ask people if they would prefer video or just audio? Many people are longing for the casual connections of the workplace, distant family time, and place of worship. It is these casual connections, those organic moments, that I hear people missing the most.How do you integrate some of that casual connection into Zoom? One option is to start a meeting with screen time for casual check in and then after 10 minutes, ask the group if they’d like to shift to voice only. Giving the group permission to meet their communication needs empowers people to work together from a place of strength. Fatigue brings out the weakness side of our strengths. We can make video screen time a choice.
There is no playbook for how to navigate all this sheltering in place. It’s our opportunity to embrace Thich Nhat Hanh’s inspirational words…”Be The Beginner”. As the beginner we all jumped on Zoom without considering when and how the tool would be most helpful. Perhaps as we’ve moved past the adrenalin rush of the beginner, we can give ourselves permission to add some spaciousness and strategy to our gatherings. Perhaps we can ask ourselves:
- Why are we gathering?
- What is the outcome we are after?
- What is the best tool to achieve those goals? Phone, Zoom, Other?
Let me know how you are managing Zoom Fatigue. We are in this together and the more best practices we share the more likely we are to own our gatherings from a place of strength.