Inspired Action For Imperfect Humans – S2 EP19: “Zoomed Out”

Zoome Out

“Zoomed Out” Brief Summary of Show: 

In today’s climate, especially during the pandemic, Zoom and other video chat tools have become the primary way for people and businesses to stay connected and conduct business. In this Inspired Action episode hosts Kyle and Christopher discuss Zoom, the effects of video chat burnout which they call being “Zoomed Out”, and the lack of connection that the world is experiencing right now, and ask the question “What do we need moving from this point forward?”

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“Zoomed Out” Transcript:

Using Zoom is exhausting. Just because you could see somebody visually, doesn’t mean you connect.

[Narrator] Is the thought of being imperfect keeping you from taking action? Welcome to Inspired Action for Imperfect Humans. Each week, we give you real life stories and thought provoking research that inspires your soul to live a more fulfilled life through your own actions. From the heart of Calgary, Canada, here are your hosts, award winning coaches, Christopher Lawrence and Kyle Kalloo.

Hi, it’s Christopher Lawrence with the Inspired Action for Imperfect Humans podcast. I come with the inspired action and my co-host Kyle Kalloo, comes with the imperfect.

Seriously, really?


I just wanna know why every podcast has to start with you trying to take me on, like what is it about it?

I think it’s-

Folks what is about it?

Because the listeners love it.

Really? I don’t think you’re doing it for the listeners because there’s something you get out of it which is why you do it.

I think they probably all think I’m really mean, actually, which is funny.

And he is.

No, don’t say that.

And he is.

Scanning photos.
Scanning photos.

It’s not true. It’s so funny ’cause I was like, “My mom listens to this podcast, “so she’s gonna have something to say.” So here’s the thing, ’cause I’m gonna tell a story about her. So I’m so frustrated with my mother because she has a sibling who’s in need. And so she keeps going out to help him and rescue him. And it’s like, look, like this is a sibling, I’ll tell you the exact story, okay? He’s going through a little bit of a family situation right now, and it involves some photos. So he’s got to deal with these photos and give them back to his ex. Basically is what it is.


Okay, he’s got to give it back to-


So, which is fine, like he-

Sounds like a juicy story actually.

Well, he just… We’re not going to get into it. You know what, they’re really kind people and it just didn’t work out and it’s unfortunate, but anyway. So it’s fine. So mum is going down to scan photos and Kyle I’m, like, I’m sure that there’s like 10,000 photos, if not more, like there’s so many photos, right? Shit my aunt would capture-


Every moment. And bless her soul because honestly it’s like, she’s the only one that did.

So he has the photos and she wants them back or-


They’re trying to figure it out how to share the photos or?

That’s it. And so my mom is going to, went down to help scan. And so I’m like reading my mother for this.

10,000 photos.

I’m like, why are you doing this, like there’s services that do this? This family does well enough that they can pay for this service.


Right? They do well enough that they can pay for this service. So it’s like, why are you going to do this for him, like you were giving so much of yourself to everybody else. And then on the flip side, on the flip side, I’m telling this to one of my other best friends who isn’t Kyle. Yes I have two, so, sorry.

I appreciate that she does some of the heavy lifting as well because it takes a village to be this guy’s friend, okay?

So I’m gripping about this situation about my mom, and I’m like why is she giving so much of herself? And then she starts to laugh and she’s like, “All of this reminds me of you trying “to rescue everybody on the planet.”

Thank you. I was just going to say-

I’ve been trying to give everything away.

I’m just thinking, but does she want to do it or is she saying that she ’cause I can’t understand-

Well, here’s the thing-

If she wants to do it.

Why I don’t know and it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t know, do you think you’d wanna spend your long weekend scanning photos?

Do you think you’d want to pull over every time you see a stranded dog on the road, and try and rescue it?

Yes I did.

Right, I don’t, but you do, so to your question, do you want– Again, if you didn’t ask that question to her.

This is exactly what Sarah was saying. Sarah was saying, “Christopher, that is you,” and I started to laugh in my face, and I’m like, “Shut up.” So anyway. So despite the fact that you and probably all of our audience thinks that I’m really unkind. I do like to ride on Kyle’s ass a little bit because, he’s not a good person.

I’m sorry, we’re still waiting on why it was still myself included. We’re waiting on hearing the answer why.

He’s not a good person. Speaking of which, and spending time with friends-

But I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve gotten used to it, and I’ve gotten used to.

I’m choking on you, on everything you’re saying, I just can’t take it any more.

And I think, I would say your mom maybe is not as tired of helping him and supporting him, whatever that looks like, mean. And so she may enjoy and because if she’s complaining about it, that’s a different story. I haven’t heard that, I don’t know. I’m just saying how long she gonna be able to do it? Like mean, ’cause it sounds like this keeps coming up-

Zoomed Out
Zoomed Out

I don’t think she is enjoying it as much as she wants. I think she enjoys spending time with her family. But, which we’ve had so little of. But to be honest with you, it could’ve also been an excuse just to go hang out in-person, ’cause like when was the last time you saw somebody in-person, right? Like we do, we are meeting in office, everybody’s messed up, we use barriers in the rest of it, but I’m I didn’t even want to do this podcast, like I’m so Zoomed out. Like how you think about some of our days where we spend like 5, 6, 7, 8 hours a day on Zoom with clients, and then I have my night, you’re taking classes where you’re on Zoom in the evening and then I’m facilitating classes where I’m on Zoom in the evening. I sometimes spend like, in all honesty, between eight to 12 hours a day on Zoom. My God, I’m so tired of it.

That’s a lot.

Like I’m Zoomed out.

It’s a lot. And then not only that is being on Zoom is one thing, but if you’re facilitating or you’re on both ends, there’s things that you need to do and learn, and the technology, and just there’s the whole whack of other things that comes. And I think you mentioned something which I am seeing in surveys popping up quite often, is the piece around, what are you required to do with this? Like, what are some of the things that you’re supposed to be doing, right? Because I know we, what I mean by that is we were all worried about technology. When this all– When the pandemic happened, we’re all worried about the technology, we have to you know do this, how many people are going to work from home, how are they gonna stay connected, how did it, but the issue is wasn’t the technology, it was, we were depriving ourself of human connections, right? That’s has been the biggest issue. And so to your point where you said about your mom, is she running down there because she’s trying to be helpful, or just because she’s like, “I haven’t seen someone, “another person besides my husband X amount of time?” So any reason to go and build that human connection, it makes sense. And I think that’s what’s happening for a lot of people, at least from my perspective is that we really are missing this human connection and any reason we get to go out there, maybe that’s something we’re doing.

What will work look like after Covid-19?
What will work look like after Covid-19?

Well, so here’s the thing. There’s this article called, “What Will Work Look Like After COVID-19? And so this is– This com, it was an interview that Greater Good magazine did. So Greater Good magazine is a science-based insights for Meaningful Life. They interviewed Cristina Banks. It comes from Berkeley by the way, right? That’s where this comes from. So the magazine. So they interviewed Cristina Banks on what the pandemic has taught us about work. And so it’s very, very interesting. One of the things– She was asked, “What’s the biggest lessons of our experience “in the pandemic so far, specifically, at work, “or maybe it’s better to ask, “What are the biggest losses?” And Cristina Banks says, “Using Zoom was exhausting. “Just because you could see somebody visually, “doesn’t mean you connect.” What we need for connection is eye contact,. Right now I’m looking at your face, not on the screen, not at the camera where I could be looking into your eyes, I’m looking at your face.


So we can’t actually establish eye contact with Zoom. So there’s no closeness between us. That’s been lost, the connection isn’t the same. We’ve also lost spontaneous interaction and that has a serious business impact. I want to read this to you, Kyle, because this is something we experienced when our staff was fully working from home. And we started to see behaviors that it’s like, if we were seeing this in the office, it would have been an extremely difficult situation-


Because it’s like the appearance is that these people aren’t performing and it’s not because we’re going after them and looking at them.

It wasn’t a competence issue, it was-

It’s just, we saw higher level mistakes, we saw- So this is what we’ve said, she says, “We’ve lost spontaneous interaction “and that has serious business impact. “That’s where creativity and innovation spring forth, “it’s never planned. “You may have an R and D group, “but they don’t sit down and say okay, “we’re going to be creative today, “or we’re going to be innovative today, “and by five o’clock we’ll get a new product envisioned. “Like, that doesn’t happen. “Inspiration comes when you are least thinking about it, “when you’re doing something else “or you’re looking out your window. “But it comes to you because somebody has said something “or you’ve met somebody who has different point of view, “or there has been something that you’ve seen “that triggers something new. “So we don’t have that kind of water cooler talk anymore.” You and I experienced this specifically with like the day-to-day interactions. Like it’s like you leave your office to go to the washroom and somebody catches you and says, “Hey, I have an idea, or have a thought, “or hey, I’m having this problem.

“Can I run something by you here?” But during COVID it was like, “Here’s a text message, we need a Zoom call, “we need to, you know, screen share.” And it was just like, it wasn’t organic, and also like those little micro interactions, you and I it’s just like, we pop in, and it’s like, “Hey, do you have time right now?” That’s like, “Yeah, I got a couple of minutes.” And then we have this interaction, and then it’s a conversation that evolves. But during this time it’s like every single thing we did in our business was a scheduled text message, and yes, it’s like, “Oh, there’s all these great tools for teams.” None of it is the same as being in-person. I can tell you this too, most coaches actually coach virtually and have since before COVID. Our unique offer is that we will coach people who live in our city, we will coach them in-person in a professional office space.

And they’ve come to appreciate that. They’ve said that, right?

Zoomed Out: A lot of our clients want to meet in person.
Zoomed Out: A lot of our clients want to meet in person.

They’ve come to appreciate it and they’ll say, “I couldn’t get another coach to meet me in-person, or if they do it’s in Starbucks or in the person’s home, and it’s not a professional setting. And so I’m not bashing it, I’m just saying there are things that get missed when you don’t get to do those face-to-face interactions. It is not the same.


We’re built for connection.

I think that’s the type of agile environment that we’re in right now, right? Is that there’s so many, so many other moving pieces, but there’s something about even, I don’t know if this article mentions it or not ’cause I haven’t read it. It’s just this energy. You know how we used to say, “I’m just picking up off your energy.” When you go into a room and someone’s really loud, you pick up on that or someone’s like super excited, you’d be like, “I really enjoyed that conversation,” and you don’t get a chance to feel that or sense that I find in it. Here’s the other thing I’m curious, what you think about this is people have been with the vaccine and everything that’s going on. A lot of people are talking about, ’cause it comes up with my leadership clients as well is I can’t wait us to get back to normal. And I’m like, get back to what ’cause do you really want to go back to 2019, ’cause that’s what you’re seeing when you say that, right? So is it that they want to go back do you think to 2019, or is it they want some normalcy, right, whatever that new normalcy looks like. So is that what it’s going to look like, you think post-COVID?

I don’t know. I think that a lot of it’s– I think some of it will– There’ll be lots of innovations that help move us forward for years to come. I think certainly physical office space is gonna, like it’s going to be very different. I do think that while the research shows greater than 60% of people want a combination of work from home and in the office. Most people don’t wanna work from home full-time, most people don’t wanna work in the office full-time, most people want a combination of both. I think that is actually the best thing to do. You can’t in certain jobs, like, sorry retail. Like brick-and-mortar retail you have to be at the store. Like you can’t– Somebody’s got to open it, close it, and process transactions. I still think most people most– I do think most people want to go and touch and feel products, rather than ordering everything online. But it depends what it is. Like I think clothing for sure. It’s like, I don’t order clothes online, I don’t like the process, I’m want to try it, and touch it, feel it. But in Canada we’re losing so many clothing retailers that you’re not gonna have a choice pretty quick here.

You can get someone who knows your, the style you like, and your size, and all those things, and they can get the clothes for you, and then you can just try them on.

People aren't getting the acknowledgement that they used to get.
People aren’t getting the acknowledgement that they used to get.

Yeah, totally. One of the other things that she says in this article is that people just aren’t getting acknowledgement like they used to, right? So there’s this like unspoken positive spirit that people find at work and we’re not getting acknowledged the way that we used to because acknowledgement just doesn’t come through, now we’re on Zoom, and here’s some verbal feedback, it doesn’t come from– It doesn’t just come from, here’s a bonus raise, job, title promotion, it comes in the forms of like, really good job on that. But that’s like a micro transaction.

And if it’s too deliberate, who’s going to do it? If I have to set up a Zoom call to tell you good job, or a great feedback versus, here, it’s just like, “Oh hi, you look fantastic today, “you know what’s going on? “Wow, you seem really happy, how was your weekend?” Like you could pick up on these things by how people are moving and how people are doing certain things or, I really just want to let you know that was a good job. You know what I mean? So, is that what she’s alluding to it, ’cause I could see that easily, easily where you just don’t have that besides, “Oh where are you, oh, that’s cute little painting, “oh, that’s nice,” right? I mean, it’s not necessarily the person. So I definitely see that. So I’m curious, what are some people’s ideas-

What do we do?

or thoughts?

Yeah, what do you do with that? How do we-

I do think you really have to check your locale, but I think the first thing Kyle is people have to ask themselves and you’ve got to get real mindful with us. Like sit down with a pen and paper, what do I need, ’cause this is all affecting mental health, all of it is affecting mental health and any denial or trivialization of that is complete ignorance. And I would say willful, deliberate ignorance.

And luckily I think we’ve come a long way. Lot of people don’t know this, but I kind of have a little TikTok thing on the side. And when I was on TikTok Live yesterday, there’s a guy that I follow and who follows me, and he does a lot of talk about the mental health’s phase. And actually invited him to connect on my live, and it was an interesting conversation. And we were talking about its impact, that this is happening. And I was thinking if we didn’t get this, no, we have a long way to go, but if we didn’t get to where we are right now with mental health awareness, can you imagine what that would’ve looked like if the pandemic hit, and I know in some countries it did hit even harder that are not as advanced or progressive when it comes to mental health. So I agree with you and even the younger groups who don’t even know, right? We’re hearing a lot of these other statistics out there of younger groups. So I like that. It’s just being aware of what is it that I need? And I think the other thing I would say to contribute to that is identify what your new normal is. I know the term that we’re using, but identify what your new normal is, is it a combination of online and in-person, is it a combination of when I have my moments offline, ’cause maybe my work there is no option, but what do I do in my real world situation, do I do more going out or do other things that creates that human connection?

I agree with you, Kyle. I do think, I’m just going to put this out out here. I think when we talk about identifying what you need, I think you’re providing a really interesting technical solution. I think that the part that I would add to that is that we actually need to create more care in our workplaces. Like we need people to ask, “Are you having a bad day today?” And not from a defensive position. “Are you okay, what do you need?” One of my most favoritest clients, they’re all my favorites, but one of my most favoritest clients for this reason. And I do mean like all of my clients are my favorite.


No, let me tell you what impressed me about this guy, he’s a retail store worker. He’s not getting the support that he believes he needs from management. There’s a little bit of willfulness there, right? There’s a little bit of willfulness, there’s a little bit of stubbornness because he wants things done his way and the truth is, is that he’s probably not wrong, he does have poor leadership, right? But, with his team, he’s actually reaching out to them and saying, “How are you doing, “tell me what’s happening in your life right now?” And he’s getting all sorts of stories, and he just cannot believe like what people are disclosing and where– He’s got seemingly seemingly bad performer and he’s like, “What’s going on?” Like he sees one of his employees sitting outside the store an hour early, just like waiting before the store is even open. And he’s like, “What are you, what are you doing here?” He’s like, “Oh, I just thought I’d come early.” But he could tell something was wrong and he said, “What are you actually doing here early?” And the kid breaks down, and starts crying, he says, “I just became homeless, “my parents don’t want me to live there anymore, “it’s COVID, I have nowhere to go.” And he’s like, “Okay, let’s get you set up with some resources right now.” But how many times does that happen and we just don’t fucking ask or somebody’s relationship ends, and it’s like, “I don’t care if it’s like, you know, “you’re working with a 16-year-old.” And it’s like, “Oh, come on.” Like, it’s like, “Check it at the door,” is what we say. But that’s a real world experience for somebody that potentially has a long-term impact. So, why not allow them to feel supported, and I promise you you’ll get more from them. It’s like, it sounds like, “It was really hard for you,” that kind of thing. So I think that in addition to checking on your own needs and then finding innovative ways of having those met, and in addition to, kind of looking at the technical side of how are we pulling this all together, the stuff that you were talking about Kyle. I think the last part of this really needs to be like doing your very best to make human connections, doing your very best to make human connections-

I like that.

As many as possible, right?

Be deliberate, being deliberate.

Being deliberate about it, and it’s not gonna be the same, it’s not gonna be the same. Know your own risk tolerance, know your civic laws as well, your provincial or state laws, and your federal laws as well. Know those so that you’re working within those ’cause I’m not gonna promote breaking the rules, although I haven’t met anybody who hasn’t.

Who hasn’t. And defined your post-COVID, right? Like we talk about goals and dreams that’s-

I think that’s huge, Kyle.


Like actually getting in front of it now and influencing the changes. Like this is what I’d like my post-COVID role to look like, let’s find a way to make that happen because I’ve proven to you that I can work from home.


So defining that post-COVID role, like actually getting in front of it and saying, “This is what I’d like it to look like,” and being specific, working with your leadership and your leadership is going to say, “I don’t have answers,” or they’re going to be vague, or they’re going to be distant, and it’s probably because they’re waiting to see what they are told as well, so from their higher ups, right? So, I think the idea though, is to plant the seed and say, “This is really what I’m looking for, “or this is how, you know, “my quality of life is going to be impacted by this. “I’m going to be able to get so much more done.”

Right, and that’s in the workplace, and also from your relationships, from your friendships, from your, like it doesn’t have to end, start and end at work. It could be in your marriage, in your relationships that you have with friends and family. You could also influence what your post-COVID would look like.

That’s right. Okay folks, what’s your imperfect inspired action for being Zoomed out, what’s your imperfect inspired action for post-COVID? And know that it’s time to start taking steps, start making plans and start influencing now.

[Narrator] It’s our goal to build a global community of inspired action takers, and we can only do that with your help. So if you love Inspired Action, please leave a review on your favorite podcasting app, and share us on your socials. You’ve heard from us, now we want to hear from you. Go to and tell us what is the inspired action you took this week? Next week, on Inspired Action For Imperfect Humans.

But then you’ll talk forever and then you’ll move on to the next subject, and I won’t get an opportunity to say,

If someone-

This is why we got divorced.

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