In any meeting, in person or virtual, everyone should – and deserves to be – heard. Otherwise, why are they even there? Unless they have a contribution to make and are equitably allowed to do so, then why waste anyone’s time on a meeting in the first place?
Yup. If a meeting is an opportunity for everyone present to contribute, then it’s worthwhile. Video meetings don’t differ much from face-to-face sessions around a conference table with coffee and Danish.
That being said, the COVID-19 pandemic has raised video meetings to the forefront. The good news is: Video meetings can save valuable time and other resources. But the bad news is: a lot of the same biases that tend to exist in face-to-face meetings can carry over into those done via video. Some of them may even be exacerbated.
- In a video meeting, it can be harder to read the tone of voice or body language. Especially in a large-group setting, it may be more challenging for someone to signal that they have something to say without interrupting someone else. This can make it harder for introverts on the team to be heard.
- Those who are working from home may have added interruptions. This can make them feel as if they have even less of a chance of making a significant contribution.
It’s not all gloom and doom as you continue to adjust to an increasing number of video meetings. Use tips like these to turn video meeting lemons into productivity lemonade:
1. Send out an agenda in advance.
For any meeting, send out an agenda ahead of time so that people can prepare. Include what will be covered at the meeting and what they need to do in advance. This will help introverts and others who may need more time to feel fully ready to contribute when meeting time rolls around.
2. Be alert for interruptions.
If you’re the meeting facilitator, pay careful attention to who is speaking at any given time – and who keeps getting interrupted. Multiple studies have shown that men tend to interrupt women or make it more difficult for them to speak up, and it’s likely to be more apparent in video sessions.
3. Record the meeting – but also provide notes.
Minutes or notes can be very helpful, especially when a meeting is virtual. In these situations, post related information publicly, so participants know that someone is taking notes for their reference later on.
- Be thoughtful when asking for volunteers. Women and employees of color have reported that they often end up doing this kind of “office busywork” versus more meaningful tasks.
4. Ask for and provide feedback.
One of the best ways to improve any meeting format is to get feedback regarding what’s working and what’s not. People might feel okay about your team meetings overall, but you may find multiple opportunities for improvement if you dig deeper.
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The year-long-plus global pandemic has rocked everyone’s world, personally and professionally. It’s time to accept the reality that some things may never pivot back to how they were pre-Covid. So, go with the flow and learn to make the new reality work for you as you grow your talent acquisition career. For additional tips on your successful strategy, read our related posts or contact Search Wizards today.