A virtual meeting is simply a meeting that takes place online and not physically with all participants in the same meeting room. Virtual meeting tools include RingCentral Video and other tools you've probably heard of, such as GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Skype. Several years ago, my company's Research Institute embarked on an exploration of the “Rules of New People in a Virtual World” to explore how technology is shaping our relationships and how we collaborate. This multi-year journey also evolved my thinking on the subject, helping me to recognize that the virtual is not the enemy of the physical if key rules and processes are maintained and respected.
People perform better when they are comfortable with each other, which provides a greater degree of openness and mutual interest. Your job as a leader, especially when people don't know each other, is to make them feel connected so you can have a productive meeting. How? Make a personal-professional record at the beginning of each meeting. Ask team members to take a minute and talk about what is happening in their lives, personally and professionally.
Go first to model the approach to what doing “right” looks like, in terms of tone and openness. Remind everyone to respect each other and not to interrupt and to just say what they feel comfortable sharing with the group. Multitasking was once thought to be a way of doing a lot of things at once, but now it's understood as a way of doing a lot of things wrong. As science shows us, despite the remarkable complexity and power of the brain, there is a bottleneck in information processing when it tries to perform two different tasks at once.
This isn't just bad for the brain, it's bad for the computer. Managers should establish a firm policy that multitasking is unacceptable, as it is important for everyone to be mentally present. How? Ask everyone to say what they would have done differently at the meeting. This is like the final moment of “Yoda”, it's the “speak now” or “keep the peace forever” moment.
This is the moment when you say what you disagree with, what challenges you, what worries you, what you didn't like, etc. The Whole Water Cooler Guy Conversation Happens Right Now, Or It Will Never Happen Again. And if it happens later, you're violating team ethics. Do you want to help with our research? Take this survey so we can see how many companies use these practices.
Virtual meetings use technology that allows people to connect and collaborate via video and audio, using an Internet connection. It's a real-time interaction between remotely located workers to achieve a shared goal or plan. A virtual meeting is when people around the world, regardless of location, use video, audio, and text to connect online. Virtual meetings allow people to share information and data in real time without being physically located together.
Virtual meetings use video teleconferencing (VTC) software, such as Microsoft's Skype, Adobe Connect, and Google Hangouts, to name a few. In this lesson, we'll cover how VTCs are employed and what capabilities they bring to people and organizations that want to use them. If you have a well-organized virtual meeting, your agenda will have been distributed ahead of time, attendees will have pre-read, and the meeting will start and end on time. It is a very efficient use of a collaboration technique that could be easily managed in a virtual environment.
A one-off meeting is a good meeting and, as a general rule, virtual meetings tend to start and end on time (or at least much longer than a physical meeting). If you're not hosting a virtual meeting and joining as an attendee, there are still some important steps you need to take to prepare properly, especially if you're being interviewed virtually. The host decides the style of the meeting to achieve whatever their goal for a specific meeting. The COVID pandemic taught the world many lessons, one of which is that meeting virtually can go a long way in bridging the physical distance gap.
Donna Dennis, president of Leadership Solutions Consulting and creator and facilitator of the American Management Association's three-day seminar on virtual and remote team leadership, says technology became the main focus; somewhere between people's BlackBerries and email, many leaders lost sight of relationships. The first, and possibly the most common, problem with virtual meetings is when users have technical problems logging in to meetings and contributing. In addition to standard practices, it is imperative to involve and include everyone in remote meetings to energize participants and keep them engaged. Virtual meeting platforms now offer a wide range of options for different types of audiences, but attendees and hosts should always consider their audience before implementing a specific virtual fund.
With remote meetings, distance is no longer an obstacle and you can communicate with your clientele in multiple locations and develop and maintain a healthy connection with them virtually. With the start of the pandemic, like so many others, I suddenly found myself working from home and attending virtually all my meetings. Virtual meetings allow you to connect easily and effectively, and develop relationships with people you might not otherwise have been able to meet as often or in person. If you're suffering from this drop in virtual collaboration, it's time to take a refresher course on how to conduct an effective virtual meeting so that your team never leaves when you call back.