Remote collaboration tools like video conferencing and webcasting may be evolving the way we interface with teammates and partners, but the “meeting” isn’t going anywhere. Neither are the characteristics of effective meeting strategies.
No amount of technology will ever turn a bad meeting into a good one. The same tactics and strategies that drive successful, goal-oriented meetings at the office are the exact same fundamentals that drive them in a remote setting.
To help meetings stay on point whether they’re in the office or over the web, here are three tips to keep in mind before scheduling your next meeting.
If Possible, Don’t Meet
Can the information you’re booking a half hour to discuss be covered in an email? It’s a good habit to ask this question before checking your meeting availability. Sparing an unnecessary meeting is a fast way to add valuable time back to your teammates’ (and your) schedule.
All meetings, whether remote or in-house, should be held with the goal of accomplishing something. A meeting may be held to identify who’s doing what on a project or simply disseminate information to a large group of people. No matter what the objectives of a meeting are, they should be clearly defined and communicated so all participants know why they’re in attendance. Sending a meeting agenda to all participants is a good way to communicate your meeting’s objectives.
End with Action Items
An effective meeting is one that leads to action. On their own, meetings don’t typically solve problems or accomplish tasks – they’re a means of sharing information and opening lines of communication between teammates. The actions sparked from meetings are what drive progress. For this reason, no meeting should be completed without a specific set of action items for participants as well as due dates for completion.
These three ideas are just a starting point, but they offer a solid foundation for setting a meeting up for success, whether it’s in or out of the office. Today’s teleworking trends do inject new considerations into the meeting management process, however, and the question of which collaboration tools to use is often chief among them.
Consider Active vs. Passive Communication
In the context of collaborating with a teammate or getting information from an employee, an IM or email is much less intrusive than a tap on the shoulder. Passive channels like email enable employees to choose when and how they communicate with you. An active tactic like a phone call or calling an impromptu meeting takes autonomy away from them and turns any communication into an obligation.
If you’re considering collaboration tools or video technology as solution to meeting your remote collaboration needs, learn key decision points by reading our blog post, “When to Use Video Communication.”