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Reasons Why Older Siblings Are Great People to Work With

Reasons Why Older Siblings Are Great People to Work With
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Though you probably had your fair share of arguments and fights when you were kids, as you grow older you start to realize your siblings are the ones who will always be there for you through all of life’s ups and downs. Older siblings will be the role models for their younger brothers and sisters, and will help see them through any difficult situation they face. For this reason, it’s extremely beneficial to spend time working alongside your older sibling when you’re both fairly young. When your older sibling is your colleague:

1. They’ll be your guide.

Training for a new job is intimidating. It definitely helps to have someone you know and trust helping you along the way. Your older sibling was once in your shoes, so they understand your confusion. They’ll also understand how to navigate you through this confusion on your path to success. Since you have a family member on your team, you’ll be more apt to focus on the task at hand, rather than waste time and energy being intimidated by other colleagues.

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2. They’ll work with you until you get it right.

No colleague wants their teammates to fail. However, most coworkers won’t be enthusiastic enough to keep dropping everything they’re doing to come to the aid of a newbie. On the other hand, your older sibling will almost certainly stay with you until they’re sure you’ve gotten the hang of things. And you probably won’t feel as bad asking your older brother for help; you’ve most likely been doing it your whole life.

3. They’ll catch you when you fall.

Then there will be times when you fall flat on your face while doing something new. This would be incredibly embarrassing working with a group of people you barely know. But, like I said, your older sibling has literally seen you fall on your face before, so whatever you did to currently mess up at work most likely isn’t that big of a deal. They’ll help you put things into perspective, pull you back up and dust you off. They’ll give you the boost you need to try again and again until you succeed.

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4. They’ll take extra time outside of work to help you.

Again, most colleagues wouldn’t spend their personal time helping a new worker figure something out or get through a task. But your older brother or sister definitely will (especially if they have to drive you home, anyway). When they see you’re struggling, or you just need to finish something up, they’ll gladly lend a helping hand if it means you won’t be stuck working extra hours for no extra pay.

5. They’ll push you to do better.

While you certainly will be driven to want to succeed at any job you take on, having an older brother or sister there will make you want to go the extra mile. Once you get the hang of your new position, you’ll want to show your older sibling that you can do everything on your own. They’ll most likely always see you as the younger one, and treat you like a kid in some ways, but you can do your best to show them you’re fully capable of pulling your own weight by putting your all into everything you do.

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6. They’ll connect with you.

Your sibling probably knows you better than anyone else on the planet. They’ll be able to relate the job to other aspects of your lives growing up, recalling times you struggled and got through it, and times you succeeded and felt amazing. No other colleague you’ll ever work with has such in-depth knowledge about you. Only an older brother or sister would be able to remind you of all the work you’ve put in to get where you currently are.

7. They’ll be there in case of emergency.

When true disaster strikes, they’ll be right there for you. They’ll be able to contact your parents immediately, and be with you as a friendly reminder that you’re not alone. And they’ll know exactly what to say to calm you down, and get you in the right frame of mind to deal with the situation at hand.

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8. They’ll make it fun.

Work can definitely be fun, and who better to enjoy it with than someone you’ve known your whole life? Having an older brother or sister around throughout your workday can make your job just as entertaining as a day spent hanging around the house. Of course, you still have work to do, but you always made doing chores bearable together, right?

9. They’ll grow closer to you.

Like I said, your older sibling will most likely always see you as “the younger one,” but working together will help them see you for the person you are. They’ll start to recognize all you’ve accomplished, and how hard you work every day of your life. And you’ll both start seeing each other as friends, regardless of the fact that you’re related.

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10. They’ll remember the time you had together.

Working with a sibling will be one more memory to add to the proverbial scrapbook. Just like every other memory you share, there will be good times and bad, but you’ll both be able to look back fondly on the time you spent growing together as colleagues and friends.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm9.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Published on July 27, 2021

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

Put the Pro in Professional

After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

2. Dress the Part

While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

3. Stage Your Workspace

Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

5. Arrive on Time

In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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6. Turn on Your Video

Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

Attend to the Pesky Details

8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

Talking Has a Time and a Place

11. Chat Appropriately

Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

Manage Yourself

14. Minimize Distractions

While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

15. Save Snacking for Later

Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

Final Thoughts

Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

Reference

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