Are we tired of Zoom yet? Don't get me wrong, I love our clients and I love our work – but honestly after the last 18 months I could do without the video feed for a bit.
A week or so ago, Sierra and I had a meeting with one our clients. To my surprise, as I opened a new window of the ever-present Zoom, I saw my client had turned his video off. Before I could say anything he remarked, "I have so much Zoom. I really can't do it anymore. I'm out walking the dogs instead. Do you mind?"
It was a nice bit of permission (which apparently I felt like I needed) to turn off my video too. While sometimes that can be the trigger that distracts me into multi-tasking, what I found during this meeting is that because I wasn't looking at anything in particular, I was listening more intently. The conversation was a lot more fulfilling for all of us as a result.
Of course, the irony is that just a year and a half ago, many of us were writing about how Zoom was amazing because it allowed us to be more present at meetings – and now we're writing the opposite! I'm not cynical about that observation. Instead I think it shows us what the real takeaway is: that what works changes over time.
There's no One Tool For Success. Sometimes you need formal schooling. Sometimes formal schooling is the last thing that's helpful. Sometimes you need to listen to others. Sometimes it pays to keep your own counsel. Sometimes you have to strike while the iron is hot. Sometimes patience is a virtue. Sometimes Zoom is perfect. Sometimes Zoom is drudgery.
Life has a way of asking us to adapt. It's not always comfortable, but it's the way we're built. Tools work until they don't. That's not a commentary on tools, but rather on the faith we sometimes put in tools over ourselves.
Tools are just tools. There's no magic in them. The magic is in you.