That’s right, it wasn’t video…. it was multi-tasking.
How many times have you been on a conference call where you had to say “I’m sorry can you repeat the question?” I’ll admit, it’s happened to me. It’s not right, but I’ll own up to it. A lot of coworkers at my last company worked remotely, which meant conference calls all day long. It also meant that it was really easy to get away with multi-tasking while you were in your sea of calls for the day.
For our customers (and we all have customers whether you realize it or not), the notion of being “fully present” is perhaps the single most important thing you can do for you and them. Customers can tell when you’re not paying attention. They can sense when you’re trying to get ahead of what they’re explaining. They know when you are trying to anticipate what they’ll say next. It’s brutal. You’re trying to help them by multi-tasking your way to the answer while they are in the middle of explaining their situation, and they end up thinking you’re not listening (which you’re not) and making assumptions about where they’re coming from (which you are).
Multi-tasking is an excellent tool when used correctly. And just like with everything else, when overused, it’s detrimental.