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  • Writer's pictureJohn J Lowe

Can you hear me now?

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

This has become a frequent response when we are conducting a Zoom or Teams meeting. You point to your ears as the other party desperately investigates their mike and volume settings.

Embarrassingly you realise that you forgot to unplug your earphones which you had just used on youtube.

Whether you admit your fault or just candidly say ‘I can hear you now……!’

This seems such a frequent event that I wonder if ‘can you hear me now’ will replace ‘hello’ or ‘have a nice day’. Have a nice Zoom does not have that personal ring. Though if they are referring to the tech working smoothly it may catch on.

There is a constant debate on the merits of virtual versus ‘in person’.

But I think the answer can only be personal and circumstantial. I use Zoom and Teams for most of my interviewing and executive coaching. Logistically it means I can schedule more appointments in a day. I also attend virtual lectures from my university which I would normally miss particularly if my interest in the subject is marginal.

My wife’s family Zoom at an appointed time each week. One member lives alone and another recently lost her husband.

The zoom is a ‘look forward’ to event and they find it reassuring, supportive and a great platform for family gossip.

On the other hand many of the candidates I interview say they would prefer a face to face if they had a choice. They tell me they find virtual too impersonal and difficult to establish a meaningful rapport.

Some of my clients are extending the WFH and work remote option to their employees whilst others are demanding a five or at least 3-day office attendance.

So in the future your reaction to ‘can you hear me now’ will either be ‘ yes loud and clear’ or you keep the mike turned off.

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