6 Quick tips to make the most of a meeting
Making the most of all meetings has been difficult during the pandemic. Still, having regular zoom meetings has opened my eyes to so many ways to better engage with colleagues, clients, and business contacts. At the ripe old age of 63 years, I have learned so much. In particular, I feel much better prepared to structure meetings and communicate effectively with others online. In addition, I continue to adapt what I have learned to help encourage our business culture and values to extend out to colleagues and contacts in the hybrid working world to ensure our colleagues and contacts feel part of our team. I think we all agree that the hybrid workplace is here to stay.
So what are the six key things I have learned?
Small talk is essential
If a face-to-face meeting were to be scheduled for 10:00 am, I am sure that most of us would arrive around 09:45 am to get a coffee and catch up with colleagues and contacts about how life is treating them. This happens naturally with face-to-face meetings; however, most people log in to the forum at 09:59 am with an online discussion. That time to build relationships is lost. We now have “team catch up” as an item on the agenda, either at the start of the meeting or at the end. How else can we get to know our colleagues? Such a simple thing but so important to extend our culture of caring for each other.
Share good news
All of my networking has been online over the last 18 months, and one particular group starts every meeting with “Good news,” which can be business news or personal news. There is no better way to get people into a positive frame of mind for any meeting than to hear some good news. The fact that the conversation involves personal and business information again extend a culture of sharing success. “Good news” as an item on the meeting agenda is always very informative and appreciated.
I think the level of concentration needed on a zoom meeting is far greater than a meeting around a table. With this in mind, I believe in having regular short meetings – where possible. It allows everyone to stay focused on the key issues but not feel exhausted by the end of the session.
It is easier for confident, experienced team members to take over an online meeting. Consider and invest in an external trainer to deliver one-to-one coaching for less experienced colleagues; this will ensure staff are more prepared and productive. Less experienced colleagues will perform better. It will extend the culture and values of any organisation out into the hybrid workplace and highlight a solid people-focused business ethos.
Encouraging colleagues to collaborate on projects to report back at meetings will inspire team members and promote regular communication with colleagues they may not usually speak with. In addition, this encourages broad business knowledge.
Make it fun
Team spirit is essential to success. Learn what makes your team members laugh. There is nothing better to make a meeting memorable and build a team.
As Richard Branson says: “Look after your staff, and they will look after your customers. It’s that simple!”
What have you learned to help make your meetings work?
- Pam Steed