Leadership Tips: 16 Proven Ideas That Will Make Your Virtual Meetings Zoom!!
Time to Read: 2 mins…
We are all continuing to learn how to conduct effective meetings online. I reached out to an expert I have known a long time for advice.
Ken Loughridge is a highly skilled project management executive based out of Christchurch, New Zealand. Ken has led a variety of remote teams both locally and inter-nationally – one team had members located in the USA, UK, India and New Zealand. They crossed multiple time zones, the dateline, and the equator. Not sure you could lead a more geographically diverse team.
Here are some of Ken’s suggestions that will improve your virtual meetings:
- 1Have regular communication with your team – don’t be sporadic.
- 2Make sure you stay in touch with and support team members individually. When leading a remote team, it is usually very hard to know how individual team members are doing – the leader needs to make extra effort to stay meaningfully connected.
- 3Listen to the energy of the team’s communication. You can get a sense of both individual and group morale and enthusiasm by how they are communicating.
- 4Make sure the tech works and you know how to operate it before the start of a meeting.
- 5Schedule the meeting to start 5 or 10 min after the hour and then begin right on time. People often schedule themselves back-to-back and then run late. This gives them a cushion so they can be on time for your meeting.
- 6Not every meeting needs to be scheduled for a full hour. Some can be 15 minutes or less. Be very efficient in the use of time. Your people will appreciate it.
- 7Send out an agenda in advance – list what will be discussed and how much time is allocated for each topic. If you don’t have a timed agenda, your meetings will wander, lose focus, and take much longer than needed.
- 8Put talkative/dominant people toward the end of the agenda.
- 9After the meeting, send a summary bullet point list of actions to be taken, responsibilities, and the results of any previous action items.
- 10It is very important for everyone on remote teams to have a way to see and track project status. To facilitate this, Ken uses online Kanbanscheduling tools such as Asana, Trello and Jira. (www.asana.com, www.trello.com, Jira Atlassian)
- 11Share photos of home / office environments / pets / family / favorite object in their office space.
- 12Celebrate birthdays and special events.
- 13Find creative ways to get to know each other better.
- 14Ask what support and resources they need to get the job done.
- 15Celebrate small wins – don’t wait until the end of the project to high five.
- 16And, make sure you listen and show that you care about them and the work.
Many of these suggestions can be applied to all meetings, not just virtual ones.
– Pick an item or two from Ken’s list that fit for your team and try them in your next meeting
What else would you add to the list? – share them below