Working With ZOOMING with Arseholes – 3 Ways to Deal with Conflict Like You’re Teflon
This article is a follow up of our highest performing blog post; Working With Arseholes – 3 Ways to Deal with Conflict Like You’re Teflon which was written pre-COVID-19 – however, since this first article was crafted…a lot has changed in the workplace, in particular, we all now work from home and a new breed of work-jerk has been born..the Zoom arsehole.
Here is the thing about working that is never on a job description, sometimes in your career, you are invariably going to work with an arsehole, someone that, is miserable and for whatever reason right now just doesn’t have it in them to be kind to others but how you process and deal with these scenarios is your choice – original post – Working with Arseholes
Types of Poor Behaviour on Zoom
First things first let look at some types of behaviours that are not cool, kind or professional on Zoom, this will help you identify which your work-jerk falls into OR it might even show you a way or two that you’re being a bit of a work-jerk via Zoom.
Facial expressions that are rude, hurtful and mean (aka forgetting they’re on camera)
You know when Big Brother contestants leave the house and they all say – after a while, you forget the cameras are on you – well same goes with Zoom meetings. I’ve been on a meeting whereby I was giving a status update and noticed a colleague rolling her eyes and shaking her head.
Asking someone to turn on their video during the meeting
This one is passive-aggressive and inconsiderate of another situation. If video is requested it should be stated in the meeting agenda so the participants can prepare themselves and their space.
Working (typing on their same computer) while you’re presenting or talking
It is no different from someone working and tapping away on their laptop in a face-to-face meeting than a Zoom meeting – it’s rude and suggests you don’t care what the presenter has to say.
Creepy silent types… no hello, thank you or good-byes during or post the meeting
Just because a group of people are virtually in a meeting and maybe even no one has their video-enabled doesn’t mean basic courtesies like hello, how are you, thank you and goodbye are not mandatory as they are and should be in a physical meeting.
How to be yo best self with Zoom work-jerk
First things first, when someone is mean or passive-aggressive this means they’re unhappy.
When someone is rude, mean and disrespectful to you it’s hard to care about their feelings but do try the challenge yourself to take a deep breath and realise, happy people don’t go around being jerks to others, unhappy people do.
PERSPECTIVE SHAKE UP : It is really important to first practice an empathic mindset during this time – while it’s not OK that Sharon rolled her eyes at your presentation, for all you know Sharon’s husband is emotionally abusive and she now has to spend all day and night at home with him OR maybe Toby that spoke over the top of you all meeting long is really not coping with the isolation from other people and he is attention deprived.
Second, when someone gives zero f*cks about putting you on the spot with a video conference.
Again when people lack emotional intelligence and or are un-happy (as above) they lack empathy which is really challenging and can be hard not to take personally as it can feel like an attack. But in the example of Richard requesting you please put your video on as everyone else has – don’t fall victim to the passive-aggressive intent of this and also don’t be a pushover – if it wasn’t in the meeting request and you’re not appropriate for video, say no.
Examples of what you can say in this scenario
- Oh I do apologise, I must have missed this was a required video call today – I am helping my father today and he is in my background
- Oh I do apologise, I must have missed this was a required video call today – I am taking this in my car while I wait for an appointment which is directly after this meeting
- Oh, I do apologise, I must have missed this was a required video call today – I have a sick child in the background and I’d prefer not to have my child on Zoom thank you.
Third, when you missed the question that ended up being directed to you and Kath gets that tone in her voice like you were not paying attention
Potentially you were on a bit of an Instagram scroll or DM’ing a colleague on Whatsapp (try not to do this) – but Kath is taking a tone with you because you politely asked, please repeat the question….and you guessed it, Kath is lacking in empathy and kindness so she snaps and take s a tone with you and repeats the question while looking frustrated AF. Note to people that do this – if someone on a Zoom call misses a question directed at them and asks you to please repeat it – give them the benefit of doubt they were pouring a coffee and slightly missed the question and simply want to ensure the answer with clarity – assuming they were not listening is work-jerk vibes.
If you’re on the receiving end of Kath – this one is where you would send her a post-meeting email to professionally state your awareness of the frustration, explain your position (ie just wanted to clarity so I answered correctly) and be professionally assertive in that you would appreciate a softer and more empathetic approach moving forward.