Ever have technology fail, just as you start a meeting? The conference phone starts to act up dropping callers or interrupting with statically outbursts. Or the laptop battery runs out part way through a meeting, and you didn’t bring your charger. There are no bars on your phone and you desperately need to get in touch with someone.
When LCD projectors first came out they were not that reliable, or at least the bulbs weren’t. Most presenters used to carry one of the old overhead projectors in the trunk of their car along with overheads of their presentation, just in case.
I remember co-facilitating a 6-hour workshop and the projector would not work. It was panic stations initially for the two of us, well, mostly me! When we realized there was no reviving the equipment, like any real troupers we charged on without visuals. For the first 20 minutes or so we felt naked without the projector, sort of like participants watching a radio, but after a couple of hours we realized we really knew the content. It remains to this day one of the best workshops we have ever done because of what we learned about ourselves.
The other day I was setting up to do a workshop and thought I might be reliving this episode with the projector. This time however, technology had once again changed and it was an HDMI connection to a flat-screen TV. I turned on the TV and it indicated HDMI, went blank and turned off. Murphy was in the room! I tried several more times to no avail then looked for solutions in my settings. After about 10 minutes I remembered what a wise tech once told me, “If all else fails with electronics pull the plug, wait 60 seconds, then plug it back in.” Like magic the screen came to life! I later found out that there had been a brief power outage the night before which had confused the poor thing.
Murphy does not discriminate. He watches each and every one of us for opportunities to humble us and make us feel vulnerable. Stay calm, step back, take a deep breath, and approach the issue with logic. Show him you are a victor, not a victim!
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