Video Etiquette

20. August 2020 0 By MarcoWilde
Video Etiquette

In one of my earlier posts I indicated my sympathy for Hallowell’s concept of the “Human Moment”. Unfortunately we nowadays have not so many opportunities any more to meet personally in order to share these kind of moments with our colleagues and business partners.

It is during these times, that we need to find the right means and the right attitude to compensate for the loss of physical proximity. For sure, one might say that we are already used to do video-calls and written communication since quite a while. But we never were forced to use these means of collaboration exclusively, without an opportunity for the personal grounding, based on the synchronisation of all our senses. It is, as if we were deprived of one of our most important senses, when it comes to human interactions: The interpretation of body language, the continuous mutual adjustment of personal distance, the unconscious processing of mimics, gesture and the behavioral interplay of well rehearsed social rituals. Maybe I am conservative, but I like much more the personal encounter.

Now. For sure it will take effort and energy from all us to find ways to compensate these aspects of communication. But I currently experience something different:

  • People even do not switch on their cameras
  • they do not mute themselves when it is necessary
  • you can still observe people that are engaged in other activities like reading or writing mails while their camera is on
  • Still we have not the appropriate equipment to make sure people can look into the camera, while looking at people on the screen

On top of that, I experienced a behavior during video-conference calls that I consider as a violation of what i would call the video etiquette:

Positioning yourself in a way, that your face fills nearly the full screen of your peers monitor, while looking downwards into the camera as if you were in a elevated position has a clear effect on any observer. Usually we try to avoid this kind of behavior in a physical collaboration meetings, but it seems that we need to pay a bit more attention to this in virtual meetings too.

With this I want to close for today.

Stay tuned and have a nice day.

Marco