Important COVID-19 Update How we can help you

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Neen James and Folding Time bookCOVID caused us to have a more intimate relationship with our colleagues meaning we are now visiting each other’s homes, know all our colleague’s pet names, have met their kids, we are spending hours on virtual calls in front of the camera. Here are a few strategies to help make your next Zoom call more fabulous (for you and your colleagues).
 
Before
Create an agenda – just like in person, if you are going to make a request of someone’s time, send an agenda in advance, highlight any preparation required, and even better if you can state the meeting purpose in the Zoom invitation.
 
Know your audience – there is some obviously big differences between calls with friends and family versus colleagues and clients. Prepare accordingly. Follow similar protocols as if your meeting was in person.
 
Be early if possible – even if switching from one call to the next, when possible, arrive a little early, especially if you are hosting the call. Test camera set up, audio and slides if you are using them.
 
Notify ‘co-workers’ – that includes family, friends, and furry babies. If you have the luxury of a dedicated space, close the door, maybe even put a post-it note letting others know, or set up a ‘do not disturb system’ or agreement in your home. Every day chat with your co-workers about your call schedule and plan breaks and guidelines.
 
Consider your background – your unfolded laundry, messy piles of paper, and other distractions can prevent us from focusing on your professionalism. A quick tidy and visual check before turning on your camera benefits everyone.
 
Choose your light source – natural light is great on your face when possible, windows behind you prevent us from seeing your gorgeous face, bright lights in front of you can be unflattering. Move your set up near natural light when possible and if not, consider investing in a Diva Light.
 
Learn platform functionality – know how to mute, enhance your background, create breakout rooms, use reactions, share screen, and manage and save chat.
 
Use names – this is especially important with calls with a higher number of participants. It’s more friendly and is a no-cost attention-grabbing strategy. Note: make sure it’s your name is showing on Zoom calls and not some weird version of your name.
 
Decide if a call is needed or a quick phone call or email might also help resolve it.
 
During
Turn off notifications – anything that will chime or distract you – silence notifications on your computer.
 
Be ready to share screen – consider what programs or websites you have open before you share screen, always be ready in case.
 
Schedule breaks if a long call – energy breaks are necessary, and please help us by turning off your camera and muting if you are going to leave the room (especially if you are still wearing your pajama bottoms which is not good for any of us).
 
Check your posture – leaning in shows involvement, looking at the camera helps us feel engaged with you, slumping in your chair or head down at your desk you seem less engaged to us.
 
Turn on your camera as much as you can – when you turn it off we wonder if you are paying attention. Stay as engaged as possible.
 
Love your mute button – use it often and deliberately.
 
After
Send minutes and follow up actions to people – just like an in-person meeting, let’s hold each other accountable to actions we have agreed to and timelines.
 
Zoom (or Microsoft Teams … or whatever platform you use) can be a powerful communication tool with a little attention to what to do before, during, and after the call, now go be fabulous!

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