Some time ago I wrote some notes on the tips for having effective work meetings in order to prepare the webinar on effective work meetings that we broadcast live on Linkedin from the International Graduate School. Of course, a year ago the pandemic would not have passed through my head, and unless teleworking would be imposed on our lives so abruptly.
As life goes on, this time we will talk about the effectiveness of meetings of all kinds because, although we have entered virtualization headfirst, the physical world also exists.
In the first part we will analyze general guidelines that serve for virtual and face-to-face meetings.In the second we will see how to make our virtual meetings effective.
1. General Guidelines
The general guidelines of order and common sense do not change much whether they are face-to-face or virtual meetings. Change the space, the circumstances, but the meaning, the objective and the value of the meetings will be the same see sample you can get help from Klaxoon.
To summarize, the stages of the meeting can be framed in this graph, and these are the same for meetings of both types.
There are a series of questions that we must ask ourselves before launching the meeting, in this inertia that we have entered that being in many meetings gives meaning to our day:
- CONVENIENCE: Is this meeting necessary?
- OBJECT: What is its main purpose?
- EXPECTED RESULT: What do we intend to achieve with it?
- PARTICIPANTS Which:People should we invite to contribute?
- OPPORTUNITY Is:It the right time to summon it?
And in general, a bit of order, please:
- Moderate for participants to speak one at a time
- Encourage those who don’t talk much to speak up, and give those who talk too much control.
- Control the times, avoiding eternal meetings, where one ends up disconnecting. Now online we have it easier because you close the microphone and camera, and you start doing other things.
- Respect the previous agenda, leave a written record of the conclusions, and monitor that the agreements are fulfilled.
2. Virtual Meetings
Telecommuting and virtual meetings are here to stay, being a key and totally necessary tool to keep the business alive at a time when physical contact is not possible. We have had to learn by force of necessity to manage ourselves with platforms that were our door to the world.
Compendium of recommendations:
- Test the technology and connectivity beforehand. There is nothing that despairs more than the platforms failing and disabling communication, so make sure that the participants manage the technology to connect and, in case of incidents, have a telephone and mail handy to communicate what is happening, respecting the security of communications.
- Being a good host, taking care of relationships. Put heat in the meeting, even if it is virtual, and spend the first 10 minutes chatting and welcoming and asking how it is going, for the family, nothing different from what we would do in the coffee before a face-to-face meeting where we would be breaking the ice and giving the human side to meetings without physical contact.
- Start the meeting by introducing them and asking if all of them and their families are okay. This is a time to care about others, taking into consideration the human side.
- Have a sheet with the names by your side and talk to them mentioning their name, that will get them into the meeting if they were confused and they will feel heard.
- Call only the essentials. Massive online meetings are difficult to manage and when you’re in the meeting and you don’t know what’s going on there it’s hard to keep the interest.
- Put a start and end time, because it is virtual and we do not have to change the car ticket does not mean that the meeting can be eternal. Remind yourself from time to time how we are going on time and the topics that remain to be seen. Calculate as end time 20% more time than expected for those doubts and final ideas.
- He asks for the camera to be put on. People are more attentive when they are watching us and when we can capture the message behind the non-verbal communication of the attendees.
- Be an active listener, nod your head, let them feel that we are listening and we get their message.
- Be specific; let’s focus on the purpose of the meeting that we have shared. It is advisable to speak in short sentences so that they do not disengage and 10% louder than in face-to-face meetings, so that the voice reaches the rest perfectly.
- Do not feign false optimism. In these moments of pandemic we are all worried, there is uncertainty because we do not know how long this will last and how it will harm our business. For this reason, it is important to be honest when explaining the situation we are experiencing, but motivating the team to be more united than ever to get ahead.
- Ask everyone for feedback at the end of the meeting. We can be surprised by the contributions of people who had been silent.
And, finally, before closing, make a reminder of the key points and the conclusions and agreed actions to implement as a result of the meeting and in what terms and to whom the responsibility has been assigned, so that they leave with the good taste in the mouth that, in the distance, we are still a team. If possible, let us share those conclusions in writing.