In the early days of Zoom, a meeting on brand strategy for financial services started with one of our participants naked, at least from the waist up. His audio was off, his camera was on, and it took some time for him to understand everyone else on the call was laughing.
Now that we’re all veterans of video calls for social and business purposes during the pandemic, such mistakes are rare. People generally know they wear a shirt, if not pants. Still, there are some things for leaders to keep in mind as you communicate with your teams coming out of the crisis.
DON’T say, “We’re all in this together.”
A) You’re not.
B) It’s already a cliché.
C) It sounds like corporate BS.
D) You can think of something more genuine.
DO spend some time in your meetings catching up with people on non-business issues.
A) The camaraderie of the workplace is sadly missed for many people.
B) Common bonds – essential for teamwork — need to be reestablished.
C) Enjoy the chance to see people in their personal environment. Take note and know them better.
DON’T complain about how difficult it’s been for you.
A) Odds are good someone on the call has had it worse.
B) Nobody feels sorry for the boss, who is assumed to have it better, even when they don’t.
C) Even likeable Ellen DeGeneres got creamed for griping about her “prison.”
DO remember you’re on candid camera.
A) Your call might be recorded without your knowledge. Speak with that in mind.
B) An unmade bed in the background does not shout “I got it together.”
C) Shutting off your camera while everyone else has theirs on will make them picture you with bed head and a grubby t-shirt. Give yourself some time to clean up in advance.
DON’T cling to the same old same old in your meetings.
A) Maybe you don’t need to meet as frequently. Be mindful that Zoom fatigue has set in with a lot of people.
B) While an attempted sense of “normalcy” might feel comforting to some, this is not the time to tie yourself to the mast of a sinking ship. New circumstances call for a new approach. Steer accordingly.
C) Keep a close eye on what people are doing during the meeting. You can tell if they’re zoning out and you need to rein them back in.
DO take time to define how things can be different.
A) Your team is looking to you for positive guidance. Where do you go from here?
B) Challenge your team to help define the future. Surely, they’ve thought of ideas, too.
C) It’s a great time to take a hard look at some lines of your business that no longer fit and add in some new offerings for a different marketplace.
For creative business leaders, this is a time of great opportunity. Good luck!