Make online meetings work for you
As a team coach I often observe and feedback on team meetings. And I beg you, please don’t fall into the trap of duplicating what you did back in the day before Covid-19, or settle into a monotonous uninspiring way of interacting with your team online. The move to online meetings gives you an obvious and easily justifiable opportunity to review and change how you run your meetings.
Here's one way you can make your online meeting more impactful and enjoyable.
Technology has democratised meetings – use this to your advantage
Everyone has the same size picture. Isn’t that fantastic? Irrespective of your rank or authority, the size of your physical office or salary, whether you’re introverted or extroverted, your picture shows up in exactly the same size and format as other attendees. Do not underestimate the importance of this.
How can you use this to improve the quality of your meetings?
The first thing you can do is introduce is a “check in” so everyone’s voice is heard at the start. There is loads of research out there showing that the earlier you contribute to a meeting the more likely you are to feel engaged and continue to continue to add your knowledge and expertise (for example Nancy Kline - Time to Think and Myrna Lewis - Inside the No).
And it’s easy, you’ve got every name on the screen in front of you. Depending on the size of your group and purpose of your meeting you can select an appropriate check in tool and vary it from meeting to meeting to keep people’s attention and have a bit of fun. Options range from the quick, to the humorous, to the more content related.
- How’re you feeling today? Thumbs up, thumbs down, the “so so” finger waggle.
- Holding up a set number of fingers to reflect your mood (5 = awesome, 1 = terrible)
- What are you wearing on your feet today?
- What did you lose and what did you gain during the last lockdown?
- Go through the alphabet backwards on a certain theme - they have to start again if they get lost which adds a bit of competition and humour to the process.
- What’s the one decision you want taken at this meeting?
Why is this democratisation so important? It means your team has a more fruitful discussion, making better decisions. You can build on the initial early contribution by all members of your team throughout the meeting. You can say that you'd like to hear from everyone, either verbally or in the chat and you can tick them off as you hear their views, calling them out if you haven't heard from them after the initial check in.
I've focused on one top tip in this article, but there are lots of other tools and techniques that I can share if you are interested in developing your online team leadership and meeting skills. If you feel this would be valuable, do get in touch to discuss a virtual meeting masterclass or coaching session.