What is the most productive etiquette to create effective virtual meetings & calls

Here at Club Mondain we have always worked remotely. Our team can work from any place in the world and our clients are people working remote and among others consist of frequent business travellers. So we are very used to calls; individual meetings, teammeetings, strategy and department meetings, with video, without video, webinars and instructions.

Since COVID-19 we have learned that for most people it was very uncommon to interact with colleagues solely online via audio or video.

And by now, we all know these awkward moments that when you finally made your point you realised you were muted, the meetings that no-body dares to respond or the meeting where there are technical issues.

The natural social habits of how to have a meeting work a bit different online; for instance you can't see each other completely, it's harder to sense when to react, so it's normal that it takes some time to make your meeting a great one.

Something that we have implemented at Club Mondain is to always start a call with a tune-in. This way practical matters can be resolved before the meeting starts. Simple things like background noise or low battery can interrupt the call and the connection. Then we start with introducing the topic and the goal of the meeting. We prefer to have an agenda that has been sent in advance and we always communicate the length of the meeting.

We also advise you to check your agenda at the beginning of the day. Is it necessary to attend every call?

When the video connection is not a priority, prepare well and take your meeting outside for a walk. And remember, as it is normally not wise nor healthy to be in meetings offline all day long, it is not wise to be in meetings online all day either.

So what are some of the simple things you can do to make your calls effective? In our past weekly Bring your own Coffee we have shared the following:

- Share an agenda or prepare accordingly

- Make a decision to stay online or to walk during the meeting

- Be in a quiet space

- Be clear on who is in the call

- Be clear on the timing of the call

- Have a moderator

- When it is a virtual meeting, use the emoticons to raise your hand or to applaud

- Have everyone on mute and only when a hand is raised unmute that person

- Have a good internet connection, camera and mic. Test in advance

- Dress appropriately

- Have a clear and calm background

And... be clear on your own purpose in the meeting on forehand. This will save you time. It also will be easier to not allow a new topic within the meeting and to stay on track.

Were details not clear or did you feel uncomfortable during the meeting? Put the effort in to verify this 1 on 1 after your meeting. It can save you and your colleagues a lot of miscommunication and time by clarifying this.

Did you decide on any topics during the meeting?

If you or your colleagues did, be clear and very specific on it. Write down every detail and who is responsible to act on it. Repeat all your decisions at the end of the meeting.

Also make sure to send your decision or action sheet to the attendees. If colleagues should respond, make it clear in the header of your e-mail with an abbreviation that fits your organization.

Abbrevations we use:

NNTR: No need to respond

(P)R4h: Respond in 4 hours please (P:priority)

(P)R8h: Respond within 1 working day please(P:priority)

N*U: Please respond, but not urgent

Do you have any other tips and suggestions?Come and share them with us and our participants in our free Bring your own Coffee meetings every Wednesday at 12:00.

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