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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Meetings .. .. .. from where you take the call does matter !!!

Life stands redefined since 2020 .. .. .. more specifically the way meetings were organized and people met have changed !!  .. first is a photo of Sunil Gavaskar meeting Sri Narendra Modiji and the second a zoom meeting – do you find any anomaly in the 2nd one [there is an obvious one !]



In every Corporate, meetings are inevitable -  the issues are intended to be discussed threadbare in the presence of all stake-holders; sometimes one might feel that more people will have to be included and thus the scope, time might get extended.  Sometimes people feel overwhelmed by the presence of superiors and sometimes people are afraid of talking in front of more knowledgeable persons. .. .. most of that changed as Covid 19 introduced to almost every one the need for keeping communication alive, even when people are not physically present.

The first key to successful conduct of any meeting is scheduling and planning its timing and agenda as also picking up the right stake-holders.  Meetings should be planned with a designated start and end time. Keeping meetings on a schedule is respectful to everyone involved and makes organization easier. When team members know that a meeting will end on time they can plan the rest of their day more effectively. Shorter meetings are usually more productive and when employees know that a meeting will end on time there is less temptation to get off task.

Many executives feel overwhelmed by meetings, and no wonder: by some statistics, on  average, they spend nearly 23 hours a week in them, up from less than 10 hours in the 1960s. What’s more, the meetings are often poorly timed, badly run, or both.  Jokes galore on how painful they are, say the authors, but that pain has real consequences for teams and organizations. Every minute spent in a wasteful meeting eats into solo work that’s essential for creativity and efficiency. Chopped-up schedules interrupt deep thinking, so people end up working late hours .. ..    there is another challenge, as many workplaces have opened up,   some workers easing back into in-house work and some remaining at home, leaders face yet another challenge: What steps can we take to ensure that both team members in the office and at home feel included and valued?

Whether it is in Office; whether it is a physical meeting or virtual - Effective office meetings need structure, order, and flow. Communicate properly before, during, and after meetings to get the most of your time and energy. Engage with your team members at every stage of the process – and ask for feedback on your meeting techniques.

Chaotic scenes from a parish council meeting that descended into farce have been shared far and wide on the internet, after clips of the hilariously charged Zoom call were shared to social media. The conference call between members of Handforth Parish Council held on 10 Dec 2020 started and ended  with councillors trading insults and getting booted from the call. It went  gone viral after clips of it were uploaded to Twitter; the name of one of the meeting’s participants – Jackie Weaver – became the fourth trending item  

May be around this time (Feb 2020) last year – not all would have experienced virtual meetings.  Now Covid 19 has driven the World from student community, teaching staff, Sports, Office, and every other establishment getting used (rather addicted) to the Virtual meeting culture.

Almost 3 decades ago – when we bought a Desktop Computer at home – MSN Messenger was the rage for talking to those in Foreign countries.  It was a technological marvel for us that we can talk on Computer instead of a phone ! .. the conversation would be a bit slow and at times heard with a time lapse .. yet it was a glorious roaring success and boon for most people.

MSN Messenger was  later rebranded as Windows Live Messenger -  was a cross-platform instant messaging client developed by Microsoft. It connected to the Microsoft Messenger service.  The client was first released as MSN Messenger Service on July 22, 1999, and was marketed under the MSN branding until 2005 when it was rebranded under Windows Live.  In June 2009, Microsoft reported the service attracted over 330 million active users each month, placing Messenger among the most widely used instant messaging clients in the world. Later with rampant usage of Mobiles, we were introduced to Skype -  a proprietary telecommunications application that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls between computers, tablets, mobile devices, the Xbox One console, and smartwatches over the Internet. Skype also provides instant messaging services. Users may transmit text, video, audio and images. Skype allowed video conference calls.  At one point in February 2012, there were 34 million users concurrently online on Skype.

Year 2020 was perhaps all about Zoom Meetings.  Zoom Video Communications, Inc. is an American communications technology company headquartered in San Jose, California. It provides video-telephony and online chat services through a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform and is used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance education, and social relations. Eric Yuan, a former Cisco engineer and executive, founded Zoom in 2011, and launched its software in 2013 The company first became profitable in 2019, and completed an initial public offering that year. The company joined the NASDAQ-100 stock index on April 30, 2020. Beginning in early 2020, Zoom's software usage saw a significant global increase following the introduction of quarantine measures adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While many individuals were ‘Zoom’ing – Officials were engaged in Teams Meet. Microsoft Teams is a proprietary business communication platform developed by Microsoft, as part of the Microsoft 365 family of products. Teams primarily competes with the similar service Slack, offering workspace chat and videoconferencing, file storage, and application integration Teams is replacing other Microsoft-operated business messaging and collaboration platforms, including Skype for Business and Microsoft Classroom. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Teams has gained much interest as many meetings have moved to a virtual environment.

With this lengthy intro on Meetings and virtual platforms, read this interesting news in MailOnline.  A plastic surgeon attended his traffic court hearing over Zoom from the operating room as a patient went under the knife.

The California Medical Board is investigating after video emerged of the bizarre moment Dr. Scott Green appeared on video call from the operating theater on Thursday. Green appeared before Sacramento Superior Court Commissioner Gary Link’s virtual traffic courtroom in his surgical scrubs with the beeping of surgical machines behind him.

'Are you available for trial, it kind of looks like you're in an operating room right now?' a clerk of the court asks in the video posted by The Sacramento Bee. 'I am sir,' Green replies. 'Yes, I am available for trial.' All the while, doctors and medical equipment can be seen in the background of Green's video. Once the judge appears and the proceedings begin, Link quickly realizes where Green is standing.

'So, unless I’m mistaken, I’m seeing a defendant that’s in the middle of an operating room appearing to be actively engaged in providing services to a patient. Is that correct, Mr. Green?' 'Yes, sir,' Green responds, as the commissioner notes he should be referring to the defendant as 'Dr. Green.' 'I do not feel comfortable for the welfare of a patient if you’re in the process of operating on that I would put on a trial notwithstanding the fact the officer is here today,' Link continues, noting the officer from Green's alleged traffic incident is present. 'I have another surgeon right here who’s doing the surgery with me, so I can stand here and allow them to do the surgery also,' Green says. Link quickly replies, 'Not at all.'

He continues, 'I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s appropriate. I’m going to come up with a different date when you’re not actively involved or participating and attending to the needs of a patient. Let me see if I can get a different date here.'  'I apologize Your Honor to the court,' Green says. 'Sometimes surgery doesn't always go as...' before he trails off. 'It happens,' Link says. 'We want to keep people healthy. We want to keep them alive, that's important.' 'I’m concerned about the welfare of the patient based on what I’m seeing,' Link says as he tries to confirm a rescheduled court date of March 4 at 3pm.

Someone else temporarily commandeers Green's phone before they give it back to he can finish the court process in a breakout room.  The video was streamed live on the Sacramento Superior Court's YouTube page because traffic court proceedings are open to the public. The bizarre incident did draw the ire of the Medical Board of California, which controls licensing in the state and suggested that they received a complaint. 'The Medical Board of California expects physicians to follow the standard of care when treating their patients,' a spokesperson said to Law & Crime. 'The Board is aware of this incident and will be looking into it, as it does with all complaints it receives.' 

Zoom court proceedings have provided strange moments since the star of the pandemic. Earlier in February, a Texas lawyer went viral after a filter covered his face during a court case. 'I'm not a cat,' the lawyer clarified. In Peru, there was also an incident of a lawyer caught having sex during a Zoom after leaving his computer camera on.

Virtual reality !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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