Like with any group meetings, I often see and hear from people at the end, muttering to themselves ‘I didn’t have to go to that meeting’ or words to the effect, they feel their time was wasted. Designing virtual meetings is no different.
- POW – Purpose of meeting? Objective of meeting? And Why me? If the host of the meeting hasn’t made Purpose/Objective/Why me clear, then email them for clarity. If still not clear, you reserve the right to not attend the meeting. Someone can always send you the meeting summary.
Thought: Otherwise, one can go from meeting to meeting and not get any work done.
- Depending on the context of the meeting, you want to send the agenda and docs at least 48hrs before the scheduled meeting.
Thought: It’s hard to have a sensible debate, if you don’t know what your going to debate about.
- Allow time to debate, and have roles as to who are the Time Keeper, Host/Facilitator, Note Taker and Techie for uploading shared docs and IT fixer.
Thought: Have someone ready to step in to continue the discussion should a participant suddenly have broadband issues and can’t be heard.
- Keep building relationships as even though video conferencing is great, but you can lose rapport with participants. Keep them engaged by seeking each of their input and perspectives on the topics.
Thought: With virtual meetings you can’t rely on visual cues, so listen to their tonality, emotion, content and commitment. It requires deep listening skills. Be comfortable with silence, as participants gather their thoughts before answering questions.
- Be sure that all participants understand their accountabilities and ownership of projects discussed.
Thought: The 3 W’s – Who? What? When?
- Follow up meeting with an email clarifying anything that was perhaps not made clear on the call and summarise agreed action points.
Thought: Follow up with a one on one call with those that find that form of communication easier, the quiet ones.
until we meet again…
BIO: Johnathan Brooks MA, PG Dip, MAC is an experienced Life/Career Executive Coach with 1,500+ hrs in the field, who has trained in a wide range of personal development methods including CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (postgrad), EFT Emotional Freedom Technique, Master NLP Neuro Linguistic Programming, has a Postgraduate Diploma Degree in ‘Coaching and NLP’, which he passed with a ‘Commendation’, a Master of Arts in ‘Applied Coaching’ and certified Firework Career Coach. He is based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Bio Trivia: Johnathan is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe and whose godfather was Yul Brynner who won an Oscar for the King and I (1957).
He is a full member of the Association for Coaching (MAC), full member of the European and Mentoring Council (UK) and a professional member of the Association of NLP.
Click here for Johnathan’s LinkedIn profile