The way many of us work has changed. Many of us are now working from home which can be really different to working in the office.
We have all sat in meetings that went for too long, or where old ground was covered and we were bored to tears. So how do you have shorter, more effective online meetings? Here’s 3 ways to have better and more effective online meetings that go for less time and give more value.
One of the first things you need to ask yourself is what type of meeting are we having. Is it a more creative exploratory meeting? Or a meeting with a specific objective?
A more creative meeting
If you are having a more creative meeting start with a few open questions to meeting participants. Find out what the group is wanting to achieve through meeting.
These questions let those attending know that they are part of a wandering meeting. Use creative tools and insight to engage those attending the meeting. You can get the whole team to contribute to summarizing at the end of the meeting.
A meeting with a specific objective
If the meeting has a specific objective and you have a particular outcome in mind then;
- Try and keep the meeting to three key points in 45 minutes.
- Check in with what people are understanding on the topic. This means you don’t have to cover old ground and can pick up the conversation at the point that everyone understands.
- Engage all attending the meeting checking in with different people at separate times and getting them to talk about their understanding of where the meeting is up to.
- Ensure colleagues and peers feel heard, known and seen.
Engaging members of your meeting and asking for their input throughout the meeting helps to get people listening because they're wanting to ensure they are contributing something new to the topic. As a consequence they consider the topic more holistically and provide greater insight.
It can be really helpful if you can tell a story that gives context about the output that you want from the meeting. The output is the physical, tangible, measurable thing that you create either in the meeting, or for the project you are working on. As part of telling your story discuss the outcomes that you are seeking. The outcomes are the actual benefits that are associated with the output.
Meeting Leaders have an important role
As a meeting leader remember that it often takes soft skills of compassion, empathy and sometimes even vulnerability to lead a meeting well. If you lead a meeting this way you will end up seeing results that include having more connective and directive meetings. Your colleagues will also feel more engaged, seen and heard. This is needed now more than ever.
Lastly, see what works...
Have a play around with these suggestions in the coming weeks as you meet. Get feedback form your team about what they think worked or didn’t work. I would love to hear what worked for you and your team over in community.