Have you noticed that as we continue to move through this pandemic and experience many virtual meetings that it is often feeling rote? Your meeting with your fellow employees begins to feel like an everyday “thing” and no longer unique. Feeling this way can lead us down a path that does not serve us well; it leads to complacency. It tends to sneak upon us, and the next thing we know, it has made a big splash – not in a good way!
The dictionary defines complacency – “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation.”
Fits how you might feel regarding some of your virtual meetings. Caution – this can be costly to your future and reputation.
I was speaking with a client, and he was telling me about a situation that occurred recently in his company. They had a virtual meeting scheduled with a potential client to discuss details regarding the project. Various department personnel were on the call to show the client the expertise and support team to serve their account and answer questions and concerns they may have. One employee showed up at the meeting from her bedroom, which isn’t that big of a problem as long as you aren’t in bed, but it was obvious she was in her pajamas. Not a good impression for the client or her co-workers. A few days later, they had another scheduled meeting with the client. This same employee was to join the meeting. She tried to log on but was not given acceptance to enter the meeting. The manager denied her request and left her in the “waiting room” or “lobby” on the virtual platform. If I were this manager, I would have done the same thing, not knowing how she would show up again.
What does complacency cost?
For this employee, she lost respect from her boss, leading to other issues in the future. Once we lose respect from our boss, it is challenging to earn your way back. She also has a reputation now with her co-workers for those in the meeting, which was aware that she was not allowed at the conference.
For the company – they lost some traction with the prospective client. Fortunately, they had another meeting for them to discuss more details and gain traction with the client. This complacency step could have easily cost the company this sale with the client if not handled correctly.
Virtual meetings may be commonplace in your everyday schedule but treating them with a complacent attitude is costly in various ways. Once you lose respect in your reputation, it is difficult, if not impossible, to get it back.
Bottom line – treat every meeting as important; you won’t know who will be on the call or what will be discussed to influence your future.