While attending the ISPSO conference last week I was a participant as well as, what we called, a facilitator.
It was a small job. I was contributing to the conference by being in the Zoom room and taking up the technical role of a Zoom host. It meant to be able to push the record button if needed, to create break-out rooms, to mute participants if needed, etc.
Having been used to hosting such meetings and dealing with everything at once I wasn’t sure if my help had any value. The help I was providing didn’t feel complicated enough. I couldn’t see what I was doing that was worth my presence and even less worth thank you’s.
Competence is often measured in our ability to have the answer or to be doing complicated things. In essence, it is translated with being active and visible, which nowadays often becomes the quest for performance. One ending up in busyness.
I was falling into that trap.
What I hadn’t thought enough about, was how my presence would transform the quality of the experience for those leading the meetings. They had one less thing to worry about, knew that someone would be present to assist if needed and thus could completely focus on the task they had come for. Which in turn transformed the experience for the participants.
What they valued was my presence. Knowing that someone would attend to the details that would have distracted them.
To do our job, we’ve become accustomed to taking up all kinds of auxiliary tasks. The most time and energy-consuming of it being to add all kinds of technical expertise to our job. We’ve become so used to them, that they now seem to be part of our job.
However, it comes at a cost. Taking up all the tasks makes it complicated to deliver excellence as well as attentive service.