Face to Face Meetings are always the BEST communication method. Why? You can judge body language, eye contact and emotional feedback.
Now that we are dealing with the COVID 19 Virus, online communication is essential to keep in contact with our colleagues and friends.
Online Communication by way of ZOOM and other platforms, can be daunting at the start. A lot of people would not have seen themselves on screen before. They may not have heard their voice before either.
I tell people to “Be Yourself! And think of Zooming etc., as like talking to your colleagues in your lounge/sitting room.
When meeting with your colleagues online, there are several aspects to be aware of. Bear in mind that the meeting a group online, people may tend to lose attention.
What I Suggest
Have a Clear and Well-Communicated Agenda: Make sure that there is a clear communicated agenda and in the possession of each colleague well before the scheduled meeting
Appoint a Meeting Facilitator: It is important to a facilitator/leader to lead the meeting, otherwise, it will become unwieldy and time wasting. The facilitator must be “FIRM AND FAIR”.
Prepare Your System in Advance: I have noticed while “On Lining”, that people have not tested their iPads, Laptops etc., and are, as a result, late connecting to the meeting. Check your equipment well in advance of the meeting.
Set Times for START AND FINISH: For productivity and meeting flow, set a time limit -START ON TIME AND FINISH ON TIME – NO EXCUSES!
Minimise Distractions: Colleagues should if possible, use Headphones and have well lit room and clear background. I have experience of distractions myself by way of having a framed picture in my background, and colleagues have commented on the picture. This means that colleagues were not paying attention to what I was saying – rather they were admiring the picture. I have now removed the picture.
Conclude with Clear Action Plans: Many meetings end with vague promises and assurances. It is the task of the Facilitator to “RECAP” and outline the action to be taken.
Share Meeting Notes Promptly: When the meeting ends, the Facilitator must make sure the notes of the meeting are sent to each colleague. Make sure the notes are simple.
Online Meetings, when well-structured and well communicated, will become extremely effective and beneficial to employees and their organisation.
REMEMBER HAVE FUN – IT HELPS
Please feel free to contact me if you require any more information on nonverbal communication and good body language skills.