Holding effective meetings is tricky enough when everyone is in the same room. When everyone is in a different place, not necessarily even a room, it can feel even more of a challenge. What’s more, with work more urgent and uncertain than ever, it’s vital to make the best use of everyone’s time and brainpower.
Working through the seven ‘A’s of effective meetings can help you shift your remote meetings from muddled to marvellous. The first three ‘A’s get your meetings off to a good start before anyone enters the virtual room.
If your meeting is needed at all, a good place to begin is the Agenda. Ask yourself the purpose of the meeting and each topic within it. Do you want people to come up with new ideas? Take a decision? Share information? Framing agenda items as questions really helps focus thinking and makes sure each item serves its purpose. And if you genuinely want people to discuss and contribute, make sure there’s enough time – keep the agenda short and use timings to indicate relative importance.
Once your Agenda is shaping up, you can think about Attendees. Who will have something important to contribute? Who needs to be engaged in the conversation? You’re aiming for the ‘Goldilocks zone’ – numbers just right for your purpose, neither too many nor too few. And don’t forget, virtual meetings don’t need travel time so you can invite people from far and wide.
Thirdly, don’t forget to plan Access. Just as you would check there were enough chairs in a meeting room, for virtual meetings check everyone’s ok on the technical side of things. Plan reasonable adjustments in advance so everyone feels included and ready to participate. And don’t forget to send your Agenda, meeting link and any papers out well in advance so people can contribute as soon as they join.
For the remaining ‘A’s, tune into our webinar.
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