Sometimes you don’t get a second chance.

You could have done everything right, except for that moment in time when you were on a Zoom meeting and your reputation fell apart.

Here is what could happen during a meeting and you have desktop screen share enabled…

  • A friend sent you a message about the funny thing you did over the weekend that was meant to be secret.
  • You revealed a password and credit card information during a meeting that was recorded.
  • People couldn’t read or see what you thought was on screen and tuned out.
  • A party of the contract noticed the notification on screen from an email that the buyer would pay more to get the house.
  • A calendar appointment notification popped up with a meeting with a participant’s direct competitor.

The first instinct is to blame the technology. Then we seek to blame other people or the tech guy for making us meet this way. Then we blame ourselves for thinking we should know better. In reality, we haven’t been exposed to what could go wrong, have practical solutions to stay safe, or had sufficient experience in knowing how to overcome technical challenges as they happen.

The technical version of misconfigured settings and process that could get you in trouble.

  1. Enable desktop, calendar, or in-browser notifications.
  2. Rely on a PowerPoint presentation as your only way to communicate your ideas.
  3. Enter passwords with character view turned on.
  4. Spend more than 5 seconds finding a website, file, or visual to be used during the meeting.
  5. Use the same zoom in/zoom out scale the entire time while browsing a website or document.
  6. Right-click for a menu of shortcuts instead of using the keyboard shortcuts, ex. copy/paste.
  7. Assume participants can see what you are seeing, which is why you must frequently check-in.
  8. Enable live chat for Facebook, Slack, or any other form of real-time communication that is seen on other computers could be harmful to that person, the sender, or each of the parties it represents.

Some mistakes are worth making once. They become valuable lessons in what not to do next time. Those mistakes can be prevented with deliberate practice, a keen awareness to what the other participants experience, and a sense of personal responsibility to avoid making mistakes like these in the future.

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Doug Devitre

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