A Guide To Virtual Meetings
It's challenging to capture the attention of your team in a face-to-face meeting. It's even more challenging when team members are forced to call in. Creating voluntary engagement is key to effective virtual meetings, writes, Justin Hale, in a recent HBR blog. Hale offers these strategies that lead to better virtual meeting results.
- Do something in the first minute of the meeting to help your team members experience the problem you are trying to solve. This can be accomplished by relating shocking or provocative statistics, anecdotes or analogies that dramatize the issue. An anecdote may involve a client whose cabinets were damaged during delivery or whose finishes on the cabinets are uneven. The goal is to frame a problem that assures your team members empathetically understand before they attempt a resolution.
- Have your team members take ownership of the problem. They can’t be observers. But merely announcing that you expect a conversation rather than a presentation rarely works. Give your team members assignments that they can actively engage in. Provide a limited timeframe to resolve the problem or to provide feedback. This may involve asking two team members to work together to solve a scheduling problem or to come up with a resolution to a customer service shortcoming.
- Mix facts with stories. Select the least amount of data that you need to engage and educate your team members. No one wants to listen or look at slide decks with numbers, percentages or endless bullet points. Limit the number of slides to one or two if you are holding a virtual meeting.
- Stick to the 15-minute rule. Your meeting should take no longer than 15 minutes, and in that time, there should be two to three opportunities for meaningful engagement. Ask your team to vote on options that you are considering to determine the one that might be most viable and where the team should begin tackling the challenge presented.