06 Apr 3 Steps to Effective Zoom Meetings
As the professional world seems to be moving entirely to Zoom these days, Dr. Erin and I are hearing frequent complaints from colleagues who spend their entire days on it. Meetings that probably could have been a chain of emails have turned into Zoom meetings – which makes sense to me. First of all, there is exceptional comfort in physically seeing others in these times of perpetual confusion. Then, there is the reality that looking at people and asking them to make a decision then means you can be confident the decision won’t get lost in a burgeoning inbox.
Zoom meetings can maybe replicate the emotions and energy of being together, but it comes with drawbacks. People talking over each other, fuzzy connections making things hard to hear, just to name a few. Here’s our recommendations for more effective Zoom meetings.
Use the ‘Hand Raise’ Feature
We know that – statistically – women are more likely to be interrupted or talked over than men. Men tend to be the interrupters, in fact, in mixed gendered meetings, and we’re hearing this is carrying over to Zoom calls. So, just like someone should be running the meeting in offline life, someone should be running it online. The ‘Raise Your Hand’ feature is the same as signaling to someone that you’d like to talk next. Using this will limit the issue of talking over people.
Speaking of offline meetings, the best ones have agendas – even sparse ones. Make sure everyone knows why the meeting is happening and what will be discussed. This provides everyone the opportunity to gather their thoughts and bring their best selves to the table.
The reality right now is that no one is 100% engaged at work, no matter what the rest of their lives look like. Statistically, we know that many folks suddenly working from home are also suddenly homeschooling their children or suddenly faced with caring for a sick relative full time or suddenly something else. Respecting that is essential for leaders right now – you must understand that professional and personal need to exist in balance like never before. So yes, your important customer deadline must be met. That is crucial. In the same way that a 30 minute meeting should be 30 minutes so that your employee can make sure their child has activities set for that time and therefore you can meet that customer deadline.
Folks, we are absolutely all in this together and that includes us here at Abbey Research as well. We’ve put together a COVID-19 leadership resource page that we’re updating as this thing ticks along. Have something for us to put on there? Drop me an email. Otherwise, follow local instructions and wash your hands and we’ll see you soon.