I’ve recently journeyed with a group of 12 leaders transitioning from a model of meeting over conference calls, to meeting over Skype.
Here a few learnings.
- Group Chat – It’s very powerful that anybody can say anything at any time without interrupting the main conversation. This can range from something as simple as “I agree with Tony’s point” to “@melinda, please go on mute” to “I have some reservations about this, could I have a chance to push back?” This allows for engagement of the entire group without high overhead and actually helps me pay better attention.
- Private Chat – I’ve found I’m frequently dialoguing privately with other team members on the call. It might be a point of encouragement, a point of clarification or help with a technical issue or pointing them to some supporting information or documents. This is really efficient because we don’t have to send emails outside the meeting or meet separately but instead can efficiently collaborate during the ebb and flow of the main meeting.
- Document Collaboration – Everyone being online has drastically increased our use of collaborative document sharing. Documents are being massaged, discussed and refined all in real-time during our calls. Everyone on the call can also see the agenda and the action points being captured. It’s pretty clear what people are committing to do.
Of course there have been struggles. Helping people know where the mute button is, how to initiate a call, how to locate the chat window etc… Despite this, I think this medium is helping us be more effective at making solid decision making and doing what we say we will do.
What have you learned as you’ve moved towards more collaborative methods of having virtual meetings?