What’s your favorite virtual tool (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Hangout, and/or others)
How many times have you been alone in an online room and not know where everyone else is?
In the early days (last fall?) when breakout rooms started, it was unclear how to get in and how to get out of the rooms. POOF! Looks like online breakout rooms have matured and are a normal way to work now, with messaging to keep you connected. Get good with it, there’s really no other choice.
What’s your favorite virtual tool (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Hangout, and/or others)
I do a lot of webinars with my friends at Training Magazine Network and ATD. Last fall, I was using Skype with customers and it wasn’t even mentioned in this survey. It’s incredible how Zoom ‘showed up’ and how many new options are available. The technology is powerful with more features, so invest some time in getting it all down. It’s not your 2019 webinar platform.
How many old friends have you connected with?
Like you, we are reaching out to friends and family to make sure everyone is alright. Friends who we have not seen for awhile are reaching out to connect. I spoke to one of my close high school friends who I meet with every summer. His daughter is a nurse and contracted the virus. His sister also contracted the virus. Thank God they are both recovered. Good news is such a gift.
There are lots of new apps for people to connect. That said, I’m not a fan of landing into a room of hundreds of people. My first experiences felt like I got dumped in a sea of sharks. Security is critical – be careful.
Who is on your mind, and who should you connect with?
A dear friend of mine has had health issues yet doing well quarantined. I was internally reluctant to reach out to him. I finally did last week, and we had a wonderful conversation and caught up. We all have a responsibility to check on people, but we must balance that with what we each can handle. Notice your tolerance level and moderate what you can handle. Listen to your emotions. When you are anxious, being with people who are sharing their anxiety can be damaging to your energy.
What item do you REALLY want that you can’t find?
This list is incredible. What makes us happy is unique to us. It’s not right or wrong, it’s part of our comfort.
What percentage of stuff that you bought will really be used?
I haven’t been in a grocery store for a while. I prefer drive-up groceries. Each week I keep a list and then order what I need from Kroger. They put it in my trunk. We’re fortunate because we do not have trouble getting most things. It’s easy to over-buy, and there is still a slight panic about availability.
If you could have ONE WISH about traveling today, what would it be?
In my line of business, I was traveling a lot. I suspect that in the future, customers will not expect us to fly now that all have learned it’s cheaper and we don’t need to. I have so many friends in companies all over, and I miss them. Travel was my way of reconnecting with these friends. I also love teaching face to face classes. Likely we won’t see much of that any time soon either. Those of you who have attended our webinars may have noticed that once I’m in a webinar, I FEEL like I’m with everyone. That’s what good Learning Facilitators do.
Here’s a picture of the ATD International Conference about this time last year. The first picture is me in the bookstore and the other is students in the Project Management for Trainers program. Look how close together everyone is…
I want to share the full message of this last entry from one of you from the survey question “Who is on your mind?”:
"My Sunday school mates/students. I'm the youngest one in the class and in my seventh decade. We lost another yesterday, not necessarily to the virus. She was a glorious 97 years vibrant and young and we are struggling to create a memorial service and something."
We all could use a little Theodore Roosevelt now and this quote has always inspired me. In our strange days, I am encouraged by these words:
‘… there is no effort without error and shortcoming…’
That’s me. As I work, my emotions are wreaking havoc on my brain cells and my anxiety keeps my body unsettled. We are where we are. Here is my goal:
‘If s/he fails s/he at least fails while daring greatly.’
I can’t believe it’s the middle of April. To review where we are right now --- March comes in like a lion --- where did March go? ---April Showers bring May --- quarantine? What day is it? When can we have warm sun? Where are my friends from work? How are my kids making out today? ENOUGH! I am working hard on my emotions (check out my cartoon on this) and I will NOT awful-lize. This month’s newsletter is going to be more questions than answers. Please fill out the survey questions and I will share the results in the May mid-month edition.
What do you think – is it okay to come to a Zoom meeting (with the camera on) in your workout clothes sweat and all? What if you are meeting with a client?
I was discussing this with one of my daughters today. Her position is that it’s our new dress code and everyone is doing it. She shared that her salespeople had ball caps on while on Zoom with customers all the time. Personally, I have a call with an important customer in a few minutes and I just ran upstairs to put makeup on and change my sweatshirt into a collared shirt. Will we ever abandon our new dress code? What will we do with all our other clothes? What should I wear to the living room today?
On the first day of staying home, I noticed that one of my favorite clothing stores was having a giant sale. First, let me say I did not need more clothes. Second, I love them. I bought a few blouses for the spring. Guess where they are? They are unopened, sitting in my bedroom for a time when I can wear them. It’s not a weather issue, it’s a look-like-a-slob-at-home preference. And last time I Clorox-ed the whole kitchen, I got bleach on one of my many black workout pants and a shirt. I don’t want to wreck any other things.
Take our online survey to share all your thoughts. Like those below:
How much do you miss Marshalls and TJ Maxx?
What do you do to justify your addiction to new clothes?
Is it appropriate to come to a Zoom meeting with customers wearing workout clothes?
How dressed up should you get in Zoom meetings?
Here was my self-induced schedule for today:
Armed with my blank book, I’m hoping I won’t forget what I was working on 10 minutes ago. I don’t have any appointments until after lunch which is unusual. I am working on this newsletter, and somewhat caught up with my team and emails.
I’ve gone luddite and I’ve created a giant spreadsheet that has everything I need. I don’t have to search all my files as much. I can find out my project status, how do get to the help desk, my conference line number, Zoom, what the biz dev people are working on, and lead follow-up from one old school Excel sheet.
The meetings start at noon, 30 – 45 minutes with projects, password glitches, customer meetings, multitasking follow-up, accidentally irritating a customer with my casualness and a quick dash to Kroger for my one-hour segment to pick up groceries.
I’m competing (not well) for being as cool at backgrounds during Zoom or Microsoft Team meetings as Matt Wren, our Sales Manager. I’m using a tool from the UK called Powtoon that let’s you create cartoon characters. It’s unique and not an easy thing to learn. You’ll see an example on my Emotional Intelligence cartoon above.
In about 15 minutes, I’ll be doing remote Turbo Kick in my dining room live. Thanks to our YMCA instructor Tiffany. I hope they are paying her.
Take our survey about the home isolation.
SURVEY: What percentage of things that you do ‘at work’ now are still the same?
SURVEY: Share one guilty snack that you MUST have during quarantine.
Mine is ice cream cups. I’m hiding them from my husband. Shhhh.
I saw a quick article today about how to tilt your head so you don’t look stupid and old on camera. Seriously? This has been a journey that engulfed us quickly – it’s all online or you’re tagged out. My favorite feature on Zoom is the way it pretends to blow wind through your hair in the background and how pieces of the person’s body come and go. Internet capacity RULES and working at home has been challenging for some of our staff doing more intensive design work in less internet areas. We miss our office speed.
SURVEY: How many times have you been alone in an online room and not know where everyone else is? (never, a few, many, always)
SURVEY: What’s your favorite virtual tool (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Hangout, and/or others)
Take our quick survey to let us know all your thoughts about the change in pace. Click to participate.
My husband and I are working from home like everyone else. I miss my office and the people I work and talk with daily. We’ll touch base today in our weekly meeting, but it’s not the same. Like many of us, we’ve had some virtual happy hours here and there, with my kids, my church friends, etc. Not surprisingly, we eventually start talking about our anxieties and concerns. It’s hard to avoid that elephant in the room.
I’m not sure why or how, but I am connecting with friends from long ago. Whether in email, Facebook or other places, people are reaching out from the past. That’s a special gift during this time.
And new friends are showing up as well. I think about the McDonalds drive-thru young woman who can still get me a cappuccino when I occasionally drive in. I’m so grateful that she can work, and I hope she is safe. In the Hoosier State (Indiana), Hoosier Hospitality is present. People are doing what they need to do, helping each other, and thanking each other. I see videos of crazy grocery store competition, but I haven’t seen it here.
Take our survey to answer questions about the new normal.
SURVEY: How many old friends have you connected with?
SURVEY: Who is on your mind, and who should you connect with?