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Navigating Uncertainty: Enrich

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Lost your focus? Six ways to re-engage

How many times have you turned your camera off on Zoom this week? Lurked in the shadows, confident that you're not steering, so can take a back seat?

Think back, can you really remember much of the meeting? Were you engaged enough to take it in?

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Engagement is about connection.

Over the past year or so we’ve all fallen foul of zoom fatigue at times. But melting into the darkness affects both listener and deliverer.

It’s like Brené Brown says in Tools of the Titans:

“I require that house lights are on, so I can see people’s faces. I rarely allow any of my presentations to be videotaped. If they’re taping you, you have to be super ‘hot’ [bright] under the lights, and the audience dark. Then it’s a performance, not connection, for me.”

We’ve all had to adapt to a time when face-to-face engagement hasn’t been possible, but now that we’re entering a new phase are you making the most of your engagements? With your team, with your clients, even with your friends and family?

If you’ve fallen into bad habits or unengaged practices, here are a few ways you can get re-engaged.

1. Face time

Not the type you get on your phone, but real-life face to face interaction. If everyone’s happy and comfortable to meet-up, then get a date in the diary. According to a study by Forbes Insight, 85% of people say thing build stronger, more meaningful business relationships during in-person meetings and conferences.

2. Be present

And encourage others to be present as well. You can only fully connect when you’re present – and this takes more than being in the room or being on the Zoom. It’s turning your camera on, it’s removing all other distractions, and it’s being purposefully and deliberately engaged.

3. Get mindful

Mindfulness can seem like a big undertaking but it’s a tool worth really mastering if you want to engage. Learning to anchor yourself in the present moment means you can fully connect, without wanting to be somewhere else, without being in your head, or lost in a completely unconnected thought.

4. Think about body language

When Brené Brown talks about seeing people’s faces, she’s likely meaning the whites of their eyes, their expression, their smiles… or their frowns. But body language goes beyond this, a smile can take be interpreted differently depending on whether it’s accompanied by crossed arms or an interested lean-in. So whether you’re on screen or in-person think about your non-verbal signs.

5. Ask questions

If you’re struggling to engage, fire up the curiosity. We only get real connection by delving deeper and looking beyond the obvious. It’s easy to fall into the trap of offering an opinion but true connection comes with asking questions and opening new avenues for discussion.

6. Finding your groove

As we start to exit the pandemic, many of us will need to find our groove again. To get reconnected to the passions, the people, and the processes that help us be our best. Think about your interactions over the next week and whether you’re really getting the most from them. Are you engaged? Are you connected? Are you present?