What have we learned?
We’re back at it with four more things we’ve learned after reflecting on the past few months as we wrap up Summer and prepare for the Fall. Check out last week’s four things here to stay caught up!
9. Technology can create connections that we otherwise would have missed.
I recently lost a family member who lived far away. With social distancing rules, and travel restrictions, I wasn’t able to attend the funeral, but the funeral home live-streamed the service. I haven’t attended many funerals recently, but I get the sense that live streaming wasn’t the norm before now. I love that technology has made it so that we can still grieve with family members and support and encourage them, and have that sense of closure for ourselves. This can also be extended to all the other places that technology has helped us. Zoom has helped us in so many ways to connect and build relationships, whether through virtual happy hours, trivia nights, or online family get-togethers. We need to be mindful of technology and how technology can build relationships and connect with others when it’s difficult to connect in person.
Action step: Think through the connections and relationships in your life. How has your use of technology helped you build relationships with others during the past four months? What can you continue using to connect with others?
10. Mischief makers don’t have to ruin it for all of us.
Around the time that when Zoom started to get popular, there was the fear of Zoom Bombers crashing our meetings, town halls, and even online worship services. So, we tightened our security. Even through the fear of Zoom Bombers, we continued to create opportunities to connect and build relationships. In the workplace when we find that someone has created mischief -- maybe it’s a customer who has wreaked havoc because they aren’t particularly easy to work with or a coworker who didn’t use their time to the best of their ability -- that doesn’t have to ruin it for everybody. We need to keep using the tools around us to move on and continue to co-create greatness.
Action Step: Pause for a moment and consider your success stories. What’s one tool you have now to help get things back on track when they’ve gone awry at the hands of a mischief maker or some other distraction? How can you apply that learning this week?
11. If you put a light in front of you, that’s better.
Around week 11, we started to realize how to make our tech calls better. Put a light in front of you and behind your screen so that others can see you better. This also applies to the dark. If you put a light in front of you when you're going up a dark step, there’s one less chance to trip. At work, if you have an opportunity to cast a light on what you’re about to do, do it. Can you ask someone else who’s done it before? Can you get input from lessons learned from past projects that were similar? Can you stop for a minute and reflect on what you've done in the past that may or may not be like this? We need to do some research, get educated, and shed light before taking that next, first step.
Action Step: Consider something you’re about to start, or a step you’re planning to take in your career journey, your hobbies, your fitness, your workplace. How can you shine a little light on that step before you take it? Seek out a little more information so that you’re not stepping out into the dark.
12. Too much tech and not enough touch is not healthy.
Too much technology and too much screen time stops our connection with people and sometimes our own insecurities prevent people from connecting with us. While we’re distracted by trying to figure out where to look on the Zoom call, realizing how many people are looking at us, quickly fixing our hair and not really paying attention, we forget to connect with people. Or maybe your grown-up kids started FaceTiming or video-chatting you more, because they want to see you, even if it’s through a screen. When you get too far in your head, though, and start focusing on your discomfort, or maybe even tilting the camera away, you’re withholding what your loved one really wants - to see your face! We aren’t touching people on a personal level. Physical touch isn’t always available or recommended, but we can reach out with a personal touch. This could be a virtual hug or words that shows you care for them and are connecting with them personally right now, not generically.
Action Step: Next time you’re on a Zoom call or video chat - whether with colleagues, friends, or family, focus on the other person on the screen instead of worrying about a stray hair or if the coffee stain on your shirt is in frame. Let yourself be fully present and connected to the other person.
How about you? What have you learned in the last 16 weeks?