Build REAL Relationships in Virtual Meetings

Yesterday, my client, a VP in financial services, said it was a waste of time to go to his office. No one was there, and besides, the majority of meetings he led were remote. He shared that in the “olden days,” bonds were formed by walking around, schmoozing at your desk, or shockingly, even having lunch together!

Technology had changed things forever, and it was up to us to create new strategies for connection in a remote world.

Here are the 4 most successful strategies he implemented:

  1. Let the participants own the meeting agenda. Ask for or assign topics so that the leader isn’t droning on as listeners doze. Try to include 5 different presenters in a 45-minute meeting.
  2. Mix up the format. The value of a meeting is the collective brainpower and problem solving ability of participants. The implication: If your meetings are devoted to just updates or providing information, they’re bound to get dull.
  3. Get creative. My client varied the following ideas in his forty five minute meetings:  a) Updates on recent projects; b) Current challenges Participant(s) brings up an issue and the group chimes in; c) Discussion of article or research led by a participant; d) What’s happening? Participants state what they are up to outside of work; e) Looking ahead: Leader or participant tees up a future initiative. The group brainstorms.
  4.  Use PODs to get everyone involved. PODs stand for Participants of the Day. These team members are responsible for contributing to discussion. PODS are essential when the meeting includes more than 8 people.

Let’s hear your ideas for taking the remote out of remote meetings.

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