Candor Over Charisma: Strange Circumstances Make For Quality Takeaways
Let's drop the act, let's be real, and let's have everyone feel like they can be themselves- without our judgment, and with our support.
One of the entertaining aspects about our use of video conferencing platforms amid the COVID-19 crisis is how they offer, often accidentally, a nofilter look into how we are going about our lives and livelihoods today. Working from home over the course of the coronavirus pandemic has meant that we’ve had to juggle our personal and professional lives from a singular setting, and this has led us to quite a few unfortunate (but almost always amusing) moments where our dual selves collide with each other.
I feel it’s safe to say that we’ve all witnessed these kind of snafus by now- consider, for instance, those viral videos showing how kids interrupted their parents’ live television interviews on BBC and Sky News recently. Closer to home, we’ve seen the son of UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation H.E. Reem Al Hashimy make a cameo as she made a speech for a high-level global conference conducted online, and I’ve personally had to deal with the meows of my pet cat, Kat, come through on multiple Zoom discussions that I have been moderating from my home.
Such moments, as funny as they seem in hindsight, can be quite horrific to experience in real time- I can personally attest to the feeling of absolute embarrassment that envelops me when Kat makes an appearance on my professional calls. But while I may be cringing during these instances, I’ve yet to experience anyone actually making me feel that way about them either- on the contrary, people have been absolutely gracious and accepting of these moments, with many of them telling me that they have only made me seem more relatable and easier to identify with, especially given our current circumstances.
Indeed, whenever Kat caused my pretenses to fall in the middle of my discussions, I found out that the conversations I was having also turned for the better- the discourses became a lot more open and friendly, with the resulting levity also allowing for candor to take precedence over charisma in the dialogues that we were having. Stripping off the supposed norms that are expected of these chats made it possible for informal yet insightful viewpoints to come into the limelight, and that’s what ended up making it an enriching experience for everyone involved. And that’s something I’d advise all you entrepreneurs to take to heart in the times we live in today. Let’s drop the act, let’s be real, and let’s have everyone feel like they can be themselves- without our judgment, and with our support.
Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.
Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.