Category Archives: Technology

The Etiquette of Virtual Meetings

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We’re living in a new reality where “business as usual” means gathering remotely in virtual meetings. Companies, large and small, need to maintain clear, concise communication with employees regardless of physical location. As long as “shelter-in-place”, or as we Southerners say “hunker-down” rules continue, business professionals have to adjust to what has become known as the “new abnormal”. Although physical offices will likely always exist, the future of work is flexible and that means being equipped to manage employee interaction with a dispersed workforce. Now, more than ever, is the time to be communicating with your employees frequently, ensuring they are safe, secure, and productive amidst the chaos. It means an explosion of virtual meetings.

What has become of all those meetings we used to attend? They still exist, but we no longer have to leave home or the office to be present. Meetings are coming to us. They are invading our homes and what we have up till now taken for granted was our safe space. Physical communication has become virtual communication. Whether companies are using Zoom, GoToMeeting, WebEx or some other platform, these new technologies are the norm. As always, we get the technology first along with its accompanying tutorials and instructions for how to use it before we learn the etiquette rules that apply.

What is the etiquette for virtual meetings?

How are we supposed to behave in this new environment? There is an upside and a downside to our ability to hold meetings with anybody, anytime, anyplace. The positive aspect is that we no longer have to factor in travel time to get to meetings. Wherever you are, you are there. The negative aspect is wherever you are, you are there. No escaping, no excuses. Here a few issues that you need to consider when preparing for or attending a virtual meeting.

Be aware of your surroundings

Your home office could be anywhere in your home since you may not have had a dedicated office space before this pandemic. If you are set up in your bedroom, make up your bed and pick up your clothes before you get online. As your mother would say, “Clean up your room.” The same applies if you have an office space all to yourself in the house. Keep it neat at least as far as what your webcam allows others can see.

Dress appropriately.

Having the freedom to dress more comfortably at home does not mean showing up in your pj’s. You are at work; you just happen to be at home. You need to present a professional appearance. And that means head to toe in case you need to move around during the session.

Establish rules for your household while you are attending a virtual meeting.

 If you have the luxury to close off your office, that’s all the better. However, not everyone does. Maintain as much control as you can over your environment. That includes family, friends and pets. Consider posting a notice on your door that says “Do not disturb. Meeting in progress.” Okay, the dog probably can’t read.

Mute your microphone when you are not speaking.

 Unless you live alone, your house may be noisy. Try not to allow your noises to be a distraction to others in the meeting.

Be aware that you are always “on” during these virtual sessions.

Think “Candid Camera” if you can recall that old TV show. People can see your every move and facial expression. Some of those online may be paying more attention to your body language than you think.

As a friend of mine pointed out recently, we may be in danger of being “Zoomed-out”. Could it be time to rethink how much added pressure we are putting on ourselves and others with our virtual meetings?

Contact Lydia to schedule a virtual training session.  All of her presentations are available as live or recorded webinars. Learn how she can help you and your employees add the polish that builds profits through tough times. Contact her at 912-604-0080 or visit her website:

I was stuck…

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It was yesterday afternoon. I found myself in the middle of a technological quagmire with no way out. I felt like I was playing out a scene in a mid-1940’s Western where the victim is being swallowed up in quicksand. As I struggled to free myself, the phone rang. I hadn’t dialed 911. 911 was calling me. Woohoo, it was my technologically savvy friend Jerry Gitchel. How did he know? Had the universe sent him some sort of signal?

Sensing both panic and despair in my voice, he instantly asked what was wrong. I told him that I had been trying for hours to resolve an issue that I had no business even considering. It was, as they say, way above my pay grade. In typical Jerry Gitchel style, he instructed me to put down my mouse and back away from the keyboard. Help was on the way. Two plus hours later, I was out of the pit. Problem solved.

This was not the first time Jerry has come to my rescue. Not only did he handle my issue with his usual expertise , he managed it with an incredible amount of patience. To top off, when he finished, I understood what he had done so that the next time I find myself in this mess, I will be able to resolve it alone. Okay, Maybe.

Jerry’s gifts include not only his technical skills but also his extraordinary ability to explain it in down-to-earth terms. He doesn’t talk in techno speak; he uses real words.

The next time you find yourself stuck in a technological mess, contact Jerry. You will walk away from your crisis with a clear understanding of what happened and what to do to fix it.  Best of all, Jerry will leave you with a step-by-step plan to get unstuck all on your own. What gifts. What a friend. Thank you, Jerry.

Jerry is President of Leverage Unlimited. Jerry has a special knack for helping business owners and professionals understand and address the overwhelming challenges and frustration brought on by the digital age. 

To learn more about Jerry visit: 

Better yet, give him a call 904-566-8325. You are really going to love his voicemail announcement.