Run effective meetings
Virtual First | Communication Kit
Running effective meetings over videoconference isn’t rocket science. Still, most remote teams report loads of unproductive meetings each week. Good news: You don’t need a degree in organizational management to get good at meetings. Use this exercise to make your meetings more impactful, whether it’s a group brainstorm or quick stand-up.
30 MIN | PERSONAL EXERCISE
|Title: Deciding on a brand design concept|
Dear design leads,
We’d love your thoughts on our latest design concepts. In our meeting, we’ll:
If you’ve got time, please review our proposal doc before the meeting.
Looking forward to talking!
– Stella and the team
If you called the meeting, take advice from The Art of Gathering author Priya Parker and act as a gracious, authoritative host—someone who’s welcoming and warm yet confidently in charge. When your meeting starts:
- Leave time at the beginning for unscripted chitchat. If your team members are remote, chances are they miss making impromptu connections.
- Warmly welcome everyone by their first name. If people don’t know each other, ask them to introduce themselves. Awkward silence? Try a creative conversation starter.
- Briefly restate your goal and agenda, and what happened the last time you met.
- If needed, give people a short “study hall” at the beginning to review reference docs.
When we’re videoconferencing, it’s easy to space out or interrupt while someone else is talking. No matter your role, you can help ensure a variety of voices—not just the loudest—are heard in your meeting. Try to:
- Explicitly say you’d like to keep the meeting inclusive and hear everyone’s perspective.
- Redirect when things go off-topic: “JD, I love those ideas but I want to make sure we get through our agenda. Let’s put them in the parking lot.”
- Interrupt the interruptors: Thanks, Justin, but I’d like to finish hearing from Eunice. Eunice, can you say more?
- Call on quieter people: I’d love to hear from folks who haven’t spoken yet. Monique, what do you think?
When you’re done, you can fill out the inclusive meeting scorecard to see how you did.
When the meeting’s over, thank everyone for their time. Then quickly summarize the decision you made, what happens next, and who will do what. Have a notetaker prep a short recap and send it after. Bonus points for ending five minutes early, so people have more time to recharge.
|From Dropbox||From others|
3 easy wins
Build the habit
- Tomorrow: Start all your meetings with a warm welcome and chitchat
- Next week: Fill out an inclusive meeting scorecard for a recent meeting
- Quarterly: Do a meeting cleanse with your team