Tips For Having Effective Virtual Meetings

Meetings are frequent activities in all organizations see such example Klaxoon. These allow teams to coordinate their work, track projects, create products and solutions, and make important decisions, among many other functions. However, even when its execution is relevant for the development of the work, the evidence would suggest that the workers, heads, and managers consider these instances unproductive and unsatisfactory.

How to make use of time in meetings effectively? With the spread of Covid-19 and the declaration of quarantine, many work teams saw for the first time the need to execute their functions remotely. Coordinating large work teams can be especially challenging.

What recommendations for remote meetings are feasible to implement in teams today? There is good news! It is not necessary to invent the wheel. There is research and experience that provides scientific and reliable evidence to improve the effectiveness of our meetings.

Below, we share with you best practices to hold effective virtual meetings with your team. Pay attention to the recommendations for before, during, and at the end of your meetings.

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Before You Begin – Are You Sure You Need To Have That Meeting?

1. Create A Motivating And Useful Agenda

Your time and the time of your team members are valuable. Working from home also means for many, more distractions and stimulation that will compete with their involvement in the meeting. Two strategies will help you deal with this situation:

  • Plan as little time as possible for your meeting: Do you really need an hour? By keeping the agenda tight, you will generate incentives to achieve the objective of the meeting in the most efficient way possible.
  • Present the objectives of your meeting in the form of questions instead of statements: The planning of your meeting can be more dynamic and motivating, and will be focused on answering the question(s). If you can’t come up with questions for your meeting, consider that the meeting probably isn’t worth having.

2. Do Not Send More Invitations

Asking questions will also allow you to define who should participate in that meeting. Who are the people whose input is needed to answer these questions? Avoid over-spending invitations, and keep the number of participants as small as possible.

3. Select The Best Tool For Your Team

Tools for holding virtual meetings allow you to record the meeting and then you can easily share its content with the rest of the interested people.

4. Prepare The Virtual Room

The possibility of offering pleasant meeting space, as well as coffee and some food to the participants, positively impacts their predisposition to have a productive and satisfactory meeting. This is true for virtual meetings.

Make sure that all the people who are going to participate in the meeting have the necessary tools and know-how to use them. Don’t assume they already know. Consider training and support in the incorporation of tools for remote work.

5. Use Video

As people work together and get to know each other, they develop shared mental models and bonds of affinity that facilitate and enhance teamwork.

The evidence indicates that when teams work remotely, the development of these elements requires greater effort from team members. Why? There are several reasons for this, but an important component of face-to-face communication has to do with information that is not contained in the verbal message.

Posture, emphasis and gestures are some of the examples of actions that deliver non-verbal information, and that deliver important complementary information to your interlocutors. Non-verbal information helps your interlocutor, for example, to identify what is more important. It is for this reason that using videoconferences to carry out your meetings has been associated with attention and involvement with the meeting.

Using video conferences will facilitate closeness between team members, despite the distance, and will facilitate the exchange of information between team members. In addition, it will prevent people from doing other tasks while they are participating in your meeting.

6. Set The Example

By following the recommendations in this article, you will be able to establish dynamics to conduct effective virtual meetings. To implement them, you as a leader are the first called to comply with the agreements.

Do you hope to start the meeting on time and take advantage of the time? You must be connected and available at the agreed time. Do you expect active involvement from your meeting participants? Avoid performing other tasks – multitasking – while participating in the meeting. Model the kind of behaviors you expect from your team.

7. Ask Your Team What They Can Start Doing Differently

Implementing each of these measures will require your expert judgment and the knowledge you already have of your team. Some more easy, necessary, or useful practices for your goals.

Remember that you have other experts who can provide you with valuable information on all those dynamics that could improve. If you want to know how your meeting went, ask the participants for all those things that they can start doing differently to make your meeting more effective.

There are several ways you can get this feedback. At the close of the meeting, you can open the floor to ask for comments or suggestions. You can test ideas by conducting live polls during a meeting. And of course, you have the possibility to send a small query to each of your team members via email.

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