Let’s face it: Leading a virtual meeting is no easy task. You need to plan carefully to overcome challenges such as awkward silences, technical glitches, and participants who multitask. Start by setting clear expectations for participation. Before the meeting, send out a “code of conduct” email to give everyone a chance to understand how they can participate productively. Assign roles ahead of time, taking into account participants’ usual behavior during calls. For example, if you have a chatty colleague who gets easily distracted, give them a task that will help them stay focused, such as keeping time. If the people in your meeting don’t know each other well, assign someone to pose targeted questions to spark conversation and minimize the number of awkward silences on the line. Make sure to let attendees know that you want to hear from each of them and that you’ll cold call people if you want to hear more about an idea or ask them to step back from the discussion if they start to dominate it. The clearer the roles are in a virtual meeting, the easier the conversation will flow.
Virtual meetings will carry busy agenda, programs, objectives and complex interests, and provides a shared space of time to process further expectations, establish milestones, exchange experiences and points of views, and shape factual modular system updates.
You have your pool of experts participating in a virtual department alike with defined outcomes, targets, and as above quoted, responsibilities.
You are a strategic leader who has all objectives connected to policies under your custody, to be a meeting champion, you need to establish a plan (not a wish list):
Start with defining meeting inputs and targeted outputs, every other detail then takes its healthy shape. The above quoted from Harvard business Review tip of the day looks at and important particle if not addressed properly then it’ll all go wrong.
Other aspects to go into:
- Have the meeting purpose(s) clear, it will be more efficient to establish early communications as required, such as definitions, new outlooks, summaries and statistics, overlooks, etc.…, you don’t want to fill participants time and attention into details that require prior preparation and review, nor should be your purpose to just fill in the schedule.
- Develop a written plan with actions, responsibilities, and time frames that correspond to the purpose, you can use this document to note meeting progress compared to previous cycles, and as a reference to next meeting.
- Assign a competent meeting coordinator, and make sure that meeting is noted, if agreed points, or suggestions, or any efficient fact was overlooked then your expert’s pool interest towards future meetings or commitments will be hit in the heart. If you are too busy to prepare, remember that in management successful meetings are not created accidently!
- Communicate outcomes and ask for feedback, survey the meeting, and use recommendations to improve conduct, leadership characteristics applies here!
We all know how hard it can be to follow along on a conference call. The challenge is compounded on multinational teams that deal with language barriers.
When facilitating a virtual meeting, it’s your job to make sure everyone fully understands what’s going on. Compensate for any language differences by acting as a moderator.
After each comment or question, briefly, paraphrase what was said. These summaries may slow down your meeting, but make sure everyone understands the discussion will save you time in the long run.
Article by: Tarik Altoubasi