3 Tips to Kill the Pain of Zoom Meetings and Start Getting Results

 In Communication Skills, Engagement

Listening to a group of leaders recently in a Zoom training, I was struck by three things:

  • They were overwhelmed by the tsunamis of ineffective meetings.
  • They admitted to constant multi-tasking in already distracting environments.
  • They were struggling to determine how to best support their remote employees in this environment.

Sound familiar? Many say “Get Used to It.” According to Leslie Perlow, professor of leadership at Harvard Business School:

“There’s a natural pull…to figure out…how to replicate the old world in the new conditions…I think people are being forced to figure out innovative ways.”

Companies successful in finding innovative ways to deal with 2020 challenges have some things in common, according to the New York Times.* Let’s take the following three tips, based on their findings, and flesh out how you can implement them too.

TIP ONE: Have fewer meetings that are long, large, or back to back. How to do that? Make sure the meeting is really needed, has a clear purpose, and is well organized. Preparation is key, including creating an agenda sent out in advance. Ask – does everyone I’m inviting really need to be there? (I hear this often, that people don’t take the time to find who really needed to be there.)

TIP TWO: Find ways for colleagues to socialize and connect while they aren’t seeing each other in person. Simple ways to do this can include having “happy hours” – a beer or glass of wine over Zoom, which can include a fun theme, like show off your pet. In staff meetings, managers can add a personal touch by putting a fun or interesting question in chat for people to answer as they come in to the meeting, or as a way for new teams to get to know each other. As a certified virtual presenter, I have found most groups really enjoy breakout rooms because they can talk in smaller groups and feel more connected. Learn to use these and polls to add variety and interest. To help people stay engaged, ask that their video be on. A great way to keep people more present is to warn them you’ll be calling on a few people randomly- and then do it.

TIP THREE: Designate meeting-free time for focusing on specific work or projects and offer flexible work hours. A recent study reflected that the majority of workers do not want to return back to working in the office full time. Most want flex time and some remote work as well as office time. In both places, we frequently hear complaints of being in so many meetings people can’t get their work done. Even in customer service with busy phones, employees can have “Quiet Hours” where others cover for them for periods of time.

Remote working and virtual meetings are here to stay…at least we’ll likely have a hybrid of the “old way” and now. It is time to learn more about the new innovative ways!

Could your organization use some help with conducting more effective Zoom meetings, presentations, or trainings? We can help! Reach out to me at (832) 657 7574 Amy Hart, Certified Virtual Trainer

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