I am on a video call with my business marketing training group. The trainer presents his material. Above the main screen are the initials of the participants.
I feel disappointed that I am the only one with a camera on. Seeing the faces of the others would bring me more connection.
I am enthralled by the materials that are shared and the questions answered. I am delighted and engaged, I gobble all the info down like a hungry duckling. I watch the slides keenly and carry my laptop around while I am doing chores.
Halfway into the session, the presenter reads a chat from one of the participants. “Tell everyone to turn off their camera, I can see someone on the toilet.”
I think “Poor guy, forgetting to turn off their camera while they do their private business. So embarrassing.” I feel lucky that I have participated in enough webinars to know to turn the camera away or off.
Then I look at the screen with the initials of the participants. And Elly’s happy face…
With a shock, I realize that I have forgotten to turn off the camera, and it is me in the bathroom. I am blushing with shame as I imagine who else sees me pee.
I can’t help and think that nonprofit leaders might end up in similar situations. Hopefully not peeing on Zoom, but experience the gap between what they think they are doing and how others perceive them.
I have heard examples of this. Like a leader who intended to be fair and neutral, and yet gets accused of racial bias.
I have heard about simple intentions to contribute, being received as bossy and interfering.
Leaders who try to balance all needs, and yet choose relationships over honesty and authenticity, unintentionally eroding the trust that issues can be discussed openly.
Or they work hard to help and still hear staff complain about feeling overwhelmed and not getting the support they need.
Lastly I’ve heard a leader report that even though they thought they set clear boundaries about availability, they work 12 hours Monday through Friday and get calls at the weekends.
Instances, where the message sent, is not the message received. Moments where they have to spend extra effort to clean up the confusion and misunderstanding they did not intend to create.
Fortunately, you can learn to be a more effective communicator and increase the chances that how you want to be seen, is how you are perceived.
For all those, who want to learn what to do and not do, I offer a discovery webinar “Effective Communication for Nonprofit Leaders”.
- Hear the five biggest mistakes in communication
- What to do better while listening to your team members
- The 10 words that will improve your requests
- Connect to other nonprofit leaders
- Get a once-in-a-lifetime offer
See you Tuesday, April 28, 8:00-9:00 am CST on Zoom (and make sure you’re not in the bathroom with your video on….).