How to Make Your Staff Think “YES! Another Video Meeting!”

Cancelled plans are the BEST plans seems to be the vibe of EVERYONE at the moment, and this, we dare say, extends to video meetings too. MEETING CANCELLED alerts bring such significant, unanimous joy, as you and your colleagues are regifted time and can continue with actual work and beat those deadlines.

“Another meeting that could have been an email” is something we can ALL relate to, but what about those meetings that actually can’t? Surely there must be a way to make them more productive, more enjoyable and less of a time-suck? Dah-dah-dah-dah!! There is! It involves us, Mindfulmeets, and what we do, but we also wanted to provide a few further tips – because we’re nice and do things like that – on how to make video chats comprehensively more productive and therefore worthwhile.

HOW TO HOST VIDEO MEETINGS LIKE A BOSS

  1. It’s all in the timing. When scheduling a meeting, try for mid-morning. Morning people will love it, night owls will have had a chance to get their coffee/s for the day to be functioning, and it allows time for people to address anything else due that day, afterwards. This is a mindful, considerate thing to do. Scheduling meetings between 11am-2pm are not. Also, time-related; aim for 45 minutes max. Anything longer and concentration levels are gone. Staff will be there in body only. And sometimes, given the nature of video calls – cardboard cut-out.
  2. Set the agenda, share the agenda, stick to the agenda. Common sense is not that common, and this is often-overlooked best-practice.
  3. It’s a numbers game. Research has found that 5-8 attendees is a good number – anything more and you risk ineffectiveness, interruptions and diffusion of responsibility = i.e. people will expect others to listen/participate on their behalf. This is also known as ‘social loafing’ – remember the person who did barely any work during groupwork university assignments? That.
  4. Do something unexpected to start. If you’re hosting these meetings, try gain a reputation for doing something a little different, clever, but simple to execute. Have people eagerly anticipate your meetings. And start the way you want to continue – with positive and upbeat information.
  5. Don’t brainstorm during video meetings. Introverts will not contribute, and the extroverts will only volunteer the ideas they think the boss will want. It’s intimidating to speak in front of your colleagues – especially if you’re a junior, and as such you’re not going to gain quantity or quality suggestions. A better approach is to raise that you’re seeking ideas around XYZ, and you’d love to receive contributions via email within 24hours. Further to this – don’t even dare attempt to brainstorm when you’ve people video conferencing from another time-zone. Delays, people speaking over each other, people’s energy being at different levels given the different times of the day. It’s a recipe for a hangout-themed car crash.

You might also want to have a look at what we do at Mindfulmeets. We’ve created this extension for this very reason – productivity during video meetings – but done mindfully. That’s our final tip.

Do you have any meeting productivity tips? What’s been the BEST meeting you’ve ever attended and what made it so great? We’d love to know!