Are you a small business who works with team members in various locations around the globe? How do you go about effective virtual team meetings over the internet?
One thing you need to know about virtual meetings is that they are no different from physical ones. At the end of it all, you should have an engaging session where decisions are made and problems solved.
However, not all virtual meetings are interesting and high-energy events. Some drag on for long periods of time and leave team members frustrated and mentally exhausted.
The following tips should come in handy to structure an effective virtual team meeting:
You are the team leader and the attitude you portray has an effect on how the rest of the members will approach the meeting. You can’t be a manager who dislikes meetings. How else will you work you’re your virtual team if you don’t hold meetings.
It’s your responsibility to solve problems, make decisions, inspire, inform, motivate, and collaborate with the rest of the team. On given occasions, arrange for a virtual meeting with your team members.
Run The Meeting
If you are the leader, you shouldn’t delegate the formulation of the agenda to a team member or executive assistant. Since it’s your meeting, plan and run it. Set the objectives you want to be achieved and you will never go wrong.
Have An Agenda
As the manager, it’s your responsibility to prepare an agenda for the virtual meeting. This should indicate all the items you want to be canvassed at the meeting. If you show up with an agenda, then you just cannot have focused discussions.
Allow Members To Contribute To The Agenda
You might be the manager but you are not a know-it-all. Why can’t you invite the team members to contribute agenda items? Since you aim to have a virtual meeting, send out emails inviting ideas for the agenda a few days before the meeting.
Make It Interesting
There is nothing as boring as a monotonous meeting format. You might want to infuse a few interesting segments. Things as simple as a change of location, watching a Ted Talk, team building or inviting a guest speaker can make your meeting very interesting.
Give Creativity A Chance
Your agenda doesn’t have to be crammed with so many items that you cannot complete it. You want your team members to engage in spontaneous discussions at the end of the meeting. If you can end the meeting early, so be it. Your team members will love it.
Don’t always be the one trying to solve a problem. Why don’t you use the team to reach a decision? It doesn’t matter how messy or challenging it is. Your meetings will have value when you embrace it.
Avoid Being Super-Imposing
Being the leader, avoid abusing power or unnecessarily flaunting authority. Avoid chastising team members for showing up late. You can still be humble, humorous, and use effective time management practices as well.
When you agree on what each team member is going to do, follow up on it. It will be embarrassing to discover, during the next meeting, that half of the members never did what they said they would do. You want to address everything during the meeting to check in on progress and make decisions to change course as needed. Remember, you’re are the leader and have the freedom to structure the meeting in whatever way works best for you and your team.