In 1985, Aretha Franklin released her 30th studio album, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” I remember the title track distinctly, it was back during my undergraduate days at McGill, and many of the memories from then seem to be etched into my brain.
It’s not one of Franklin’s most famous or memorable songs, but lately I can’t seem to get it out of my thoughts, for reasons I’ll get to.
You see, I’ve become a bit of a “Zoom” addict. Not only that, I’m trying to get anyone else who’ll listen hooked as well.
Goodbye Skype, Hello Zoom
For the uninitiated, Zoom is a platform that allows you to make video calls from your computer, phone, or tablet. It’s been around for a few years, but lately it has become very prevalent and I am absolutely in love with it.
I can still recall decades ago, people saying “you know, some day, we’ll be able to see the people when we talk to them over the phone” and I remember thinking “what do I need to see them for, I usually already know what they look like!” Oh the naiveté of youth.
Like many people, my first exposure to video calling was with Skype, but there were typically quality issues with most calls. It was free, though, so who really cared? Turns out, I do!
The Choice of Many Organizations
I belong to a lot of different groups and organizations, and as it turns out, they’ve all chosen Zoom as their video platform for webinars and conference calls, so it was a no brainer for me to choose it as well.
I do Zoom calls with my FFI (Family Firm Institute) study group, the weekly PPI (Purposeful Planning Institute) thought leader webinars are on Zoom, FEX (Family Enterprise eXchange) uses Zoom, and the Bowen Center and our BTO (Bowen Theory in Organizations) meets on Zoom too.
And I’m into the home stretch of my coaching certification with CTI (Co-active Training Institute), and all of our meetings are on, you guessed it, Zoom.
So I kind of didn’t have much choice in the matter, really.
Taking It to the Next Level
I’ve never been a particularly “early adopter” of technologies, but it seems like I may be here, at least as it applies to using Zoom as my default platform for even simple one-on-one calls with clients and colleagues.
I signed up last fall for $149 US and can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever spent my money more wisely.
I recall the 2018 PPI Rendez Vous where the venerable Jay Hughes was explaining that thanks to platforms like Zoom, “Geography” was no longer the obstacle that it used to be.
Now I’m certain that Hughes has participated in thousands of regular, audio only phone calls in his life, but what he was getting at was the fact that when you can look someone in the eye while speaking with them, it truly is as close as you can get to actually being with them in person.
And so now I’m on a mission, and have already broken many people’s Zoom “virginity” and been their first Zoom host. I’ve even Zoomed with my mother, and she was born in the 1930’s.
Scheduled Meetings > Random Phone Calls
Another societal change that’s going on is that people are doing a lot less picking up the phone and calling someone, and actually making scheduled “meetings” at a set time.
My one-on-one coaching clients are all done over Zoom, using scheduled calls, and this allows me to have clients in far flung places, some of whom I’ve never actually met face-to-face.
Even with sibling groups, it is a big time saver, as each person can participate in our calls from their office, home, or hotel room.
Take Off for a Week – Without Taking a Week Off!
By far the best aspect of working this way is that it allows me to head to my cottage and not miss a beat. I can take off for a week, without having to take a week off.
I think my record is 6 Zoom calls in one day, and in a typical week I often get on 10-12 calls.
The personal touch and intimacy you can create when you meet people this way is so far beyond what you can do with audio only.
So, who’s Zooming who?