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The Power of the Pause


I had the opportunity to present for an online webinar with the Federation of Community Social Services of BC recently via Zoom. Non-profit and organizational leaders from across the province tuned in to listen to a talk I co-presented with Sian Lewis, the Executive Director of The Phoenix Centre. Our presentation was researched, rehearsed, and we were ready!


Maybe like you, prior to a webinar, I had a number of things to look after. As I quickly tried to accomplish more on my mile long to do list prior to entering the virtual room, still with a million things on my mind, I was feeling a little unfocused.


What happened next was amazing.


The webinar started and the team from the Federation welcomed everyone in attendance. Then they intentionally, and artfully, made space. They got us laughing, rolling our shoulders, taking some deep breaths, and centering our attention to be present for the presentation. My mindset shifted, and although I was a presenter, I was reminded of the opportunity to be present to teach and share and to focus on that, while our audience was reminded to be present, listen, and engage. We collectively harnessed the power of a pause.


I thought it was one of the most powerful things I had experienced recently in our Zoom culture. Yes, we have Zoom fatigue, but perhaps it is because we don’t give ourselves time to be present with our colleagues and clients fully when we’re in a virtual meeting.


Or we’re busy multitasking – and you know what I mean…

  • You turn your video off to work on other things

  • You wear glasses and we see the reflection of what’s on your computer screen as you pretend to pay attention

  • Your eyes are not watching what’s happening and you’re not really listening

Do yourself a favour. If you can’t make the space to be present for a meeting, maybe ask yourself why you’re even attending in the first place. If your attendance is important for an online meeting or it’s something you signed up for because you feel you’ll get value from it, embrace the power of the pause. Remind yourself to be present. It’s a beautiful gift you’ll give not only yourself, but those you are engaging virtually with.