Effective Online Meetings

Working from at home is a nice thing, if you can stay focused.

Something driving me mad is that people do not check your availability for an online meeting or telco. They simply send out an invite and expect you to make it work, Well I am not sitting and laying card games, while waiting for someone to invite me to a meeting. If you want to have a successful meeting, check availability of the people invited.

If you do not do that, well rethink if your meeting is really necessary with that participant lust.

Meeting duration and agenda is another thing. Mostly the effectivness of each meeting drops with the length of it.

Ask and prepare yourself:

  • Do we really need 60 minutes? (I limit most of them to 30 min)
  • Clear agenda? (Do invitees know, what the call will be about?)
  • Do we need all those participants? (less is more)

At the start of the meeting:

  • Start on time. (Stop waiting these fancy additional minutes, for others to join)
  • Ask if everyone knows about the agenda ans is prepared. (If not, cancel the meeting; trust me you need to do this a few times only 🙂 )

During the meeting:

  • If people are not prepared, ask them to be quiet and not to disturb with strange questions.
  • Guide the meeting, stay focused on the outcome you want to achieve.
  • Do not allow others to hijack your meeting. (Yes, this is one of my problems, as I like to do this if a meeting turns into an unstructured talk wasting my time)

Phone or video conference?

This is something I just started to test. I guess everyone does something else during the telcos, if he is not having an active part. But there is a reason, why you were invited, therefore please listen and participate.

Recently I started to switch on my cam during the calls and motivate others to do he same. This way everyone stays much more focused, including myself. Would be a bad habit asking others to be focused, while doing emails on your own.