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Could We Use a Freeze?

By Joey Havens

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Here comes my fifth Zoom call of the day and the fatigue is real, but I’m also glad I “get to” have a busy schedule with impactful meetings. As I get ready for my next call, I recognize the fatigue and make a mad dash to the breakroom for coffee. Throwing back the caffeine as our call gets underway, I’m coming back to life as the passion from one team member is building.

This call is an attempt to collaborate on a strategic direction which (to no one’s surprise) we have some vastly differing opinions. As one participant has dug in solidly on his position, he is animated and his voice is rising as he emphatically shares his beliefs. In my opinion, he is on the brink of not being effective, but just as I am on the verge of sending him a private chat, his screen suddenly locks up. I had no idea Zoom had those types of controls built in. Ha! 

On another note, why does the freeze-frame always catch you in an awkward facial expression? At least that’s my experience.

Our passionate team member has lost his connection and we wait for him to rejoin. “Where was I?” as he pops back on my screen. But as he picks back up, what is instantly apparent is that he is more composed and under control. This moderated approach is leading to other team members jumping in to collaborate on our direction.

This experience reminds me of how often I allow my passion to get too loud and drown out the real opportunities for collaboration, growth, leadership and better connections. Most of us can use a “Zoom Freeze” at times to be more effective. The self-awareness to recognize these moments presents us with the ability to grow our skills and influence. I really do wish Zoom had this built in as a self-select feature. I’m sure I would spend a lot more of my day frozen — to my team’s delight.