I admit it – I am that Reformed Advocate that we all hate. You know, the reformed smoker who tells you how bad smoking is? The person who never worked out until they did and now want you to change your life? I am that gal who hated to turn on her camera during any online event but now I do and I am going to share why you should to.
Let’s start with: “But does it really matter?” YES! While it will never replace being there in person but it does matter.
You should strive to show up in All meetings as completely as you can – in today’s situation that includes being seen. Here’s why:
- The more you show up in a meeting the more real you become to the other attendees. This means: speak up, be seen *literally*, ask questions, etc.
- Attending a meeting with your camera on builds community. If you are meeting with a team, this is critical to the long term health of that team and the work that you do.
- Having your camera on also increases trust – that the other attendees have in you. If you think that isn’t something you need – think again. You need your boss and team’s trust in your opinions, your commitment, and just you in general.
- Having your camera on forces you to be more present, more accountable for your actions and makes it harder to get disconnected.
- You will be sharing more of your message because we can see more (not all) of your non-verbal communication. We miss the message if we can’t see your face.
- If I can’t see you, you weren’t really present. You are forgettable, ignorable and in this day and age that can translate into fire-able.
- Human brains are designed to be visually based – I can remember what you said when I can recall the video in my head of seeing you say it. Ever tried to recall something from a phone call? It gets hard because you lack the video to recall.
Imagine attending a meeting while sitting behind a screen or out in the hallway. You encourage others to stop seeing you, thinking of you, and even remembering you were there. This can affect your job and career. People who aren’t “seen” aren’t promoted, aren’t given projects, etc. In the bigger picture – why keep paying someone you can’t even remember?
I can hear you already; “But I feel like someone is always looking at me“.
I have news for you – that possibility was present when you attended in person meetings, we are just so used it that we don’t even recognize it anymore. Yes, assume that someone is always looking at you – you are, after all, always looking at someone else yourself. Use this to keep your focus and attention where it should be – on the meeting.
Another way to look at this: While chatting with a friend about this, she mentioned that her company wide meetings (100 people) were being done virtually. Everyone notices (and talks about) the three people from Accounting who never turn on their cameras. And that included senior management. Their lack of participation was being noticed in a Not Good Way. Anytime you come to the attention of senior management you do not want it to be because you are the only person not doing something, especially if they are.
How do you get started with this?
Practice with a friend/family member; someone who you already feel comfortable with.
Then move to team meetings.
Finally, make the commitment to have it on no matter what – even if none else does.
For more help with your virtual meetings – attend my 90 minute workshop on Mastering Your Virtual Meetings.