How to make successful online meetings – Don’t generate smoke. Generate light
The corona lockdown has introduced the pain of workdays filled with online meetings. Online are less efficient. Yet much of the pain I have experienced is the same pain that I experience in physical meetings. This can be fixed. This blog is the second in series of tips that can improve the quality of your meetings.
Even enlightening discussions can me a waste of time when no action results from it. This can happen for several reasons, all of which, you can prevent when facilitating meetings.
Without a clear purpose you should not expect clear outcomes (See – Start with the end in mind). But even with a clear purpose there are two common traps to avoid:
- Failing to allow time to formulate actions and agree on ownership. This is like watching a great movie with a boring ending. Timekeeping is an important tool of the facilitator but can be hard to master. Awareness and practice will get you there.
- Leaving the documentation of the actions agreed to the minute keeper. Ownership is not something you delegate – it is something people can take. Actions you chose are more exciting than tasks you are given. And as everybody have busy schedules, if you want action, you need to empower people to pull tasks. This is even more powerful when the group pull actions during the meeting, as this introduce peer pressure. If actions are not assigned on the meeting, but assigned in the minutes of the meeting, chances that you will get action is low.
As you can’t make people live longer, beware how you spend their time. Time spent without generating action is time wasted.