There’s no end in sight to the remote meeting. The good news is whether you use Zoom, Skype, or a different platform entirely, virtual meetings can be just as productive as in-person ones. You simply need to take the right approach. Here are a few creative ways to get there:
Be sure to cover the basics.
Just because a meeting is virtual, doesn’t mean it’s any less important or pressing than a face-to-face one. So make sure you’re keeping in mind the basics and scheduling meetings at a time that works for everyone. This way, no one feels pressed or stressed during it. Also create and send out a meeting agenda a few days in advance, giving employees time to prepare.
Hold meetings later in the morning or in the early afternoon.
It might seem like early morning meetings make the most sense. However, this is when your team members are starting their workdays and have a lot to get done. Instead, give them time to settle in and schedule meetings later in the morning or early afternoon. That way, they won’t be distracted by all the emails and voicemails they still have to check. Likewise, it won’t be so late in the day that they’re tired of losing steam.
Give each attendee a job.
During video meetings, it’s easy for employees to lose focus. However, if each one has a job, then they’re forced to pay more attention to it. For instance, you can ask one staff member to gather and write down all the questions everyone has about the meeting topic. You can ask another to write down minutes and send out meeting notes afterward. You can also have yet another run the meeting and manage tasks, like the slide progression. This will ensure everyone has an active part and remains more focused during it.
Offer a few minutes of friendly conversation.
When it comes to virtual meetings, you have to work harder and be more intentional about getting people engaged. One way to do this is by introducing everyone at the start of each meeting. You can also open it up with some casual conversation before diving into the details. Catch up, make small talk, ask about what’s going on with everyone. This will build up the rapport of your team and keep employees engaged as you move into the content of the meeting.
Create a forum for everyone to speak up.
When it comes to meetings, there are generally two types of people: those who talk a lot and those who don’t talk at all. However, to get the most from this time together, it’s important to get different perspectives and feedback. Encourage this by taking a round-robin type approach to the meeting, where you ask each attendee to discuss the meeting topic, whether it’s their role in the project, the challenges or concerns they’re facing, or their ideas surrounding it.
Focus on the goal and keep meetings as short as possible.
At the beginning of the meeting, remind everyone of the goal you’re aiming for with this meeting. If people start to get off-topic, steer them back to the main focus, and make a note of other side issues that should be discussed at a different time. End the meeting once all the objectives have been discussed, even if it’s sooner than expected.
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