In the wake of the current situation, countless people have suddenly been thrust into the world of remote work. And with increased encouragement to maintain social distance, there’s a distinct possibility that in-person meetings with teams, customers, or suppliers may not be possible for, potentially, weeks. In circumstances like these, it is quite apparent that Virtual Meetings and Conference Calls take center stage.
Tips to Conduct a Successful Virtual Meeting
While ‘Work From Home’ carries with it a plethora of advantages, it also has the potential to deteriorate the productivity levels of an individual. While working from home and isolated locations from the rest of the team, communication among the team members becomes critical, and virtual meetings take center stage in ensuring coordination and progress on various team initiatives. Therefore, to establish a fluent communication level and also, to maximize the performance of your employees while working from home, we provide you with the following tips that will help you conduct successful virtual meetings:
1. Be humane:
The topmost priority as a leader, in an epidemic crisis, similar to the current COVID-19, is to show empathy towards team members and ensure their wellbeing.
In essence, it is essential to enforce interpersonal relationships and togetherness — especially when people may be feeling isolated at their home. Therefore, always open up your virtual meetings by greeting your team members and ensuring their family and friends are safe in this challenging time.
2. Be respectful of a colleague’s time:
Before a virtual meeting, set clear objectives, and send a pre-read to the team members if needed. To be more efficient in the meetings, keep an agenda, define meeting ground rules, and clearly outline the next steps after each section and also at the end of the meeting.
The next steps should clearly outline accountabilities and timelines to accomplish the tasks before the next meeting. If someone needs to present, ask them to use a screen sharing tool, so attendees can literally ‘be on the same page.’
3. Use video tools:
This option serves the boon to the corporate world in times like now. Video Calling technology such as the likes of — Zoom, Skype, and GoToMeeting, etc. helps to personalize the conversation and makes you feel in the same room as the other employees. You can see each other and take cues from each other’s body language just as you would do in a non-virtual environment i.e., real meeting room.
4. Provide an audio dial-in option:
Video calling requires a good network connection; therefore, for any contingency related to the network, for example, power cuts, internet breakdowns, device failures, etc., it’s better to keep options open.
Using the audio-calling feature, participants can by-pass network issues and maintain an uninterrupted communication flow.
5. Test the technology ahead of time:
Before your virtual meeting timing, make sure that the necessary software and programs are working correctly.
6. Ensure everyone’s point of view is respected:
Getting everyone’s inputs in a virtual meeting is essential. The best practice to conduct successful virtual meetings is virtually ‘going around the table’ before finalizing a decision.
This practice helps to ensure that everyone’s opinion in the conference is heard — avoiding the risk of excluding the views of any introvert attendee.
Conducting successful virtual meetings is an iterative process. Ensure to gather feedback from your team members after each meeting so that those learnings are incorporated in the next meeting.
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