Virtual meeting are becoming commonplace. A good job doesn’t end with mere creation of virtual teams and delegating responsibilities to them. Good communication, especially at the initial stages, is vital for an effective virtual team. As with any other teams, Meetings form an important communication tool. Let’s see some ways to run good and efficient meetings with your virtual team.
Show respect to Participants
Choosing the right meeting time and checking the participant calendar sound very basic and trivial. But I find this courtesy missing in many of virtual meeting organizers.
- Know the lunch time for different sites that are participating in the meeting
- Check the calendar of all mandatory participants for the meeting
- Avoid meetings that go beyond office hours of any site (before 9 AM and after 6 PM), unless they agree to it
Include Agenda and Reference Material
Make sure to detail the agenda in the meeting invite. It is better to put them down as bullet points, so that the participant can easily read them.
As a bonus, this makes you think twice or even more, about your expectations from the meeting. This will make it a really good meeting.
Don’t forget to attach any reference material like documents or presentation to the meeting invite – so that the participant doesn’t go all the places searching for it.
Share Call Information
As there will be participants from different locations across the world, you should provide sufficient information for them to connect. If you are using a Meeting Bridge, do include the local numbers for each site to dial in or at least a link where they can get the numbers. The last thing you want is, people coming in late just because they cannot find the dialing information.
Use Video Conference (when possible)
Video conference make meetings as lively as possible. This will make it easy for a rapport to develop between the teams, thus increasing the odds of a successful meeting.
Validate your Assumptions
It is very easy to make assumptions when talking to people. The chances are high in a virtual meeting. Make a note of all the assumptions that you arrived at and validate with the participants – either in the meeting or later through minutes.
Summarize the meeting
A good minutes is essential to conclude the virtual meetings. It makes it easy for all participants to review the items that were discussed in the meeting. The minutes should include an “Action Items” section with the name of the owner – so that the participants can follow up on their commitments.
Organize a Follow-Up
Many times the benefits of a good meeting is lost because of the lack of follow-up. Make sure to follow-up either via emails or through a short meeting on the action items. This way the participants will feel accountable and take the items they are responsible to closure.
Key Take Away
- Show respect to participants by choosing a right meeting time
- Check mandatory participant calendar to make sure there are no clashes
- Include a detailed Agenda and all Reference Material with the invite
- Share Call information to make it easy for participants
- Use Video Conference whenever possible
- Validate your assumptions either during or after the meeting
- Summarize the meeting by the way of good minutes
- Organize a follow-up to make people accountable