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Sticky Situation: If You Want to Film, Please Ask First

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Henner Frankenfeld via Getty Images
Henner Frankenfeld via Getty Images

Sticky situation:

I recently facilitated a children's workshop. Without warning, a colleague filmed the entire session, including my interactions with boys and girls. I was surprised, uneasy, but did not say or do anything.

Another presenter was also filmed. She too was uncomfortable by this recording.

I wanted to discuss this with upper management. A colleague advised me to talk to the organizer first. She has recently joined the company and is the newest member on our team.

Julie, what do you think? What words should I use so as not to damage my relationship with this new colleague? So far, we are getting along great.

Thank you very much for your advice which will be precious.

Solution(s):

Ooh la la! It's not because we have the technology that we have the right to use it, without the consent of others.

Your colleague is right, first speak with the organizer. She is the person that is responsible for the use of technology during private events. It is up to her to validate expectations by asking the presenter's permission. Also, in this case, there were pictures of children that were taken. This generally requires permission of the parents or guardian.

At this time, I recommend you make an appointment with the organizer to have a post-mortem review of your workshop.

During this discussion, inquire about the intended use and distribution for the recording.

"I noticed that you have filmed my workshop. What will you do with the video? ... What platforms will it be published on?"

You are then free to accept, or not, the suggested broadcast. You may also ask to see the footage before making your decision.

It is very important to validate that the organizer had parental consent to film the young children. If necessary, enlighten her of the possible legal implications of this omission, for your organization.

If you do not want to have this film publicly broadcasted, it will certainly be a delicate conversation, but as always, the "magic" will be in your tone. Speak with a friendly but firm voice.

"Since you are new on the team, you were probably not aware of this, but I do not allow the recording of my training activities, unless we make prior arrangements (which could include additional fees). Please make sure that the recording is deleted."

A good tip is to mention your discomfort with the conversation.

"This is not easy for me to say, but ..."

In the future, as I do as a speaker and workshop facilitator, I encourage you to confirm recording expectations with clients and colleagues when you present your Service Offer or confirm the event.

If ever you notice someone filming without your consent, you could say something like:

"Ladies and gentlemen, this workshop is a private event. No consent has been given for the recording of this workshop. Only photos are allowed (if any). Thank you for respecting this guideline."

And for you, dear Huffington Post readers, if you ever wish to film an event or a person, ask before. If not, it could be very embarrassing when you are asked to stop or delete your recording. You will also get a better shot when you point your camera and say "Cheese!"

You have a sticky situation at work or at home? This is your forum. Write to Julie and she will reply promptly. Want more solutions to sticky situations? Go to Facebook, Twitter or order your autographed copy of Etiquette: Confidence & Credibility. Planning a conference? Julie happily travels coast to coast and beyond, to present customized activities. With Julie's help gone will be awkwardness, embarrassment and faux-pas.