We’ve learned that it helps for everyone on the call to agree the same set of behaviours at the start of the meeting.

No multi-tasking.

It’s not Netflix.

Chat always on.

These are just 3 of the rules we at red10 have learned as we increase our use of virtual meetings. Read on for the other rules as Piers Carter shares a set of behaviours that teams can tailor and agree to abide by at the start of Virtual Meetings.

Kit Behaviours

If you find this article useful, have you seen our Free Facilitator’s Kit for Virtual Meetings?

This article is one of the Behaviours in our 3Bs Virtual Kit – Basics, Behaviours and Bag of Tools to help leaders facilitate great Virtual Meetings. There are advanced Tools that you may be interested in too, such as Breakout Rooms and Annotations for prioritizing.

7½ Rules that help Virtual Meetings

We’ve learned that it helps for everyone on the call to agree the same set of behaviours at the start of the meeting.

Here are the 7½ that I’ve learnt – you can download these here as a slide that your team can tailor and use:

1 Be Present Keep focused on the meeting.
Discipline yourself to do non-meeting work in the breaks
2 It’s not Netflix Don’t sit there watching like it’s a box set…join in, participate and interact.
Be interested and interesting.
3 Patience Be patient with tech – there’s so many components that can go wrong and it can happen to any of us.
Be patient too with people’s home situations – you never know what someone’s going through. They might be a hero for even making it onto the call.
4 Chat always on Keep an eye on the conversation and respond – protect the precious “air time” by actively using chat to get straightforward things done.
5 Display Name & Go Gallery In many organizations, tools like Zoom pick-up your employee number, which needs changing to your name.
Zoom-like tools have the option of Speaker View or changing it to Gallery View so that you can see everyone like you’re in a Face-to-Face. Go Gallery, so that you can make the experience as human as possible.
6 Minimal screen share Screen share is the new death by PowerPoint.
If anyone on the call only has one screen, then it will feel less like a face-to-face unless you switch-off screen share whenever you can.
7 Assign Owners Assign someone to facilitate – either the whole meeting or agenda item by itemAnother to maintain the action log and parking lot in real-timeAnother person to keep the live agenda up-to-date in an agile way
What other shared output does your team have that needs an owner?
Enjoy yourself & dial up the human Find ways to have fun and make the session a positive experience! ?

The average adult spends 1 day a week on their phone

Screen-time is a huge function of our lives, so we had better get skilful in the virtual world.

Screens facilitate connection and learning and yet they frustrate us the world over. They swallow our time like a black hole and yet they also allow us to work at speeds unthought of 10, 15 or 20 years ago.

Like them or hate them the truth is, for the foreseeable future, they are here to stay.

Phone Coaching? No thanks!

When I trained as a coach 15 years ago it was all face to face. A few radical types were phone coaching but I wasn’t keen. Even so, as part of my growth, I decided to try being coached on the phone, to prove to myself and everyone else it just didn’t work as well. To my horror, it was really powerful. I realised I’d have to change my opinion.

It’s not better or worse … just different.

The coach I used told me in the first session, “Don’t compare it to face-to-face, just experience it for what it is. “It’s not better or worse … just different.” And she was right. Different in really good ways. Intense, focused, sharp and to the point and at times intimate. There is a quality to the voice that you only truly appreciate when it’s the only input you have.

Jumping forward 15 years and I’ve found myself both coaching and training using phone and virtual platforms more and more and never more so than this year. I’ve done 1:1 work where we’ve made breakthroughs and changed people’s lives, I’ve delivered training to groups of 20 for 2.5 hour interactive workshops on topics such as Running Effective Meetings, Demystifying Feedback and Working with your Unconscious Bias to name a few and I’ve participated in a week long online conference with over 1000 people.

I’ve come to realise there may be no limit to what you can achieve online if you are enthusiastic and a little creative.

To be clear, I’m not saying virtual should replace face-to-face.

I’m just saying that it’s important for us to be as virtually skilled as we can be given:

  • Modern companies spread across the world
  • The environment crying out for sustainable solutions

As a development consultancy in the 21st century we at red10 believe we have a duty of care to be there in as many ways as possible for our clients.