Virtual meeting: make sure to let people know that you want broad participation
It is no longer a question of whether companies should offer the possibility to work remotely, but how to make doing so successful.
A big part of that success hinges on virtual meetings.
To ensure such meetings add value when some or all of your team works remotely, do these three things:
1 FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIPS
The quality of the relationships between attendees determines the quality of conversations during the meeting. Open the conference lines 10 minutes early and ask someone to greet and talk with people. When the meeting begins, have three people share what’s happening with them. During the meeting, use people’s names when you refer to earlier comments. And when possible, meet face to face.
Virtual meetings are enhanced by having a clear agenda, which allows participants to prepare and participate more fully. Plan on 20 per cent more time than you think you need for each topic. You should also identify whom you want to hear from before the meeting. Part of feeling included and adding value is sharing what you think about a topic. Letting people know that you want broad participation is the first step; calling on people strategically is the second.
3 LEAD TO ACCOMPLISH AGENDA AND GET PARTICIPATION
Review with the group how you intend to manage the conversation. Virtual meetings require a stronger leadership approach because you can’t see nonverbal cues. Request the permission you need to enjoy leading the meeting. For example, you may ask for the ability to be firm about staying on track and agreement to set aside technology. – Copyright Harvard Business Review 2