Stop apologizing for someone in your zoom background

Why I don’t use blurry backgrounds for Zoom

Yesterday I has a team show and tell on some new power bi data I was visualizing and I saw someone had a TON of hiking gear in their background and when I said “woah you are a hiker” their response was “yeah I probably need a better background.” To which I was like NO WAY!!! Bring your whole self, I HATE those fake backgrounds…cause I don’t get to learn anything about you, I don’t get even a glimpse into your life, which when hiring 40–50 people during a pandemic — I’m trying to get any clues I can to help make connections and know the people I work with. I asked about the climbing because I wanted to introduce him to 2 people who are big climbers at Seer and one of our alumni. But to him it was like “oh snap the CEO might be judging me b/c of my background.” That is important to recognize managers, I thought I was being good and a connector and it could be perceived as the opposite.

Obviously some people don’t want you to see their stuff / where they live and you gotta respect that, so blur away, but anything that makes me more human to my team (the clues around me) I would love to show.

Basecamp Debate: Bring your whole self or leave that junk at home?

With all that basecamp jazz going on (looks like they are doubling down) — I actually want to get to know my team better and for them to bring a bit more of themselves. Some people are into sports and beer that’s OK to chat about, but a black man losing his life and how we can be a part of the solution is not? Nah I’m not feeling that. How we support all kinds of perspectives

Recent Interview — tight quarters, ZERO apologies = LOVE that!

I love it when I am interviewing someone and they have someone (cat, kid, sig other) walking around in the background and DO NOT apologize for it or even flinch at it happening.

We’re all doing the best we can with the tools we got in this pandemic.

Set expectations is fine “hey things are a bit crazy here today”, ok that is cool.

But “I’m sorry” is NOT fine.

Confidence in your value to an organization sounds like this:
“If a manager doesn’t understand that we’re all doing the best we can with what we got and I feel the need to apologize, then why would I want to work w/ them anyway?”

Lack of confidence is “I hope this doesn’t make me look bad”.

I need that confidence in board rooms, meetings, etc to help my clients win and succeed.

I know its a habit for many of us, just keep working at getting better at it, you never know how it is interpreted.

A Caveat

With that said, I’ve interviewed people who wear backwards baseball hats and people who wear suits, typically I don’t apply the confidence rule for those kinds of things…why? B/c I don’t want people making assumptions about my clients, and if this is your best foot forward, well making assumptions is how I always get in trouble. So if you come in with your hat backwards, you just gotta be THAT much more impressive than the average. :)

Serial Underdog @seerinteractive doing SEO, Marketing, & Stuff, I am whatever you say I am.