Stop your bad manners during virtual meetings

Virtual meetings have formalized bad manners, selfishness, and individualism.

It is common for the person on the other side of the virtual meeting via Google Meet or Zoom Call to say, “excuse me, I will have my breakfast during the call. Bear with me. But you are free to join…”

And then will hastily add, “I won’t take Busheera.” The rest will laugh over it, and the meeting will resume, as the person will take their meal on the other side.

Some people are the host of the call, so they put off the video and speak as they munch or drink. It is so horrible and disrespectful. Others have a high sense of entitlement. They know everyone will understand them. They leave their microphone unmuted and continue to drink or eat as the meeting proceeds.

The absence of official meeting health breaks has exposed people’s recklessness and bad upbringing.

Around April 2020, at the peak of the coronavirus Pandemic and virtual meetings, an unbelievable video that circulated on the Internet. During the Zoom meeting, with video-enabled by all participants, one of the people started masturbating in front of his laptop as the live video showed on the computer screens in full view of all attendees.

The other participants on the call tried, helplessly, to get the person to know that they were on a live call in vain. He got to noticed after the fact. It was too late.

They say, “integrity is what a person does when they know no one is watching.” Virtual meetings provide a false sense of privacy and expose people’s true colors and habits out. Because people see they are alone in the room, they get a false sense of privacy since they do not see nearby any other present physically around them.

Another Zoom meeting exposed the recklessness of a top executive during a high-level meeting. Based on the video clip that was shared online, the reckless official had been addressed as “Ambassador.” This Ambassador was attending a zoom call via his mobile phone, with zoom video-enabled.

Mid-way during the call, the Ambassador felt the urge to respond to a call of nature.

For some reason, he started walking to the urinals as his Zoom Video and Audio remained on capturing everything for the participants. At first, it was a routine walk through the office to the Urinals. Once there, he pulled out his ‘urinator’ and started pouring.

It was shocking.

The other people on the call tried to help him mute and put off his phone camera in vail. You could see the person standing and urinating.

It was after some while; the host disabled his audio and video. But the mistake had been made.

COVID-19 has changed the way meetings are conducted. It is a reality we must all embrace and learn to optimize from it. Once you are on the call, there is no privacy, whether your audio and video are disabled.

The fact that some bad videos have found their way on the Internet, it is possible to say that some meetings are intercepted or hacked into, where the wrong people gain access to recording the sessions live.

Contrary to the provisions of the right to privacy, virtual meetings are usually recorded by the host or any other person attending the call without the knowledge or permission of the other participants. In the process, people are exposed to the potential risks of being held accountable for what they said, even if they were making a joke!

To succeed in virtual meetings, do the following:

  1. Treat the meeting like a physical meeting at all times. Give it the attention and respect you would give to a physical meeting
  2. Be on time. Start the call on time
  3. If you are the host of the meeting, have an agenda and share it accordingly via chat or screen share.
  4. Be smart and presentable. Dress for success.
  5. Disable your audio or mute your audio by default. Enable your video by default. Be present in the meeting or room.
  6. Have a glass of water nearby. Avoid background noise.
  7. It is ok to excuse yourself to visit the bathroom.

I wish you success during and after COVID-19.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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