Virtual meetings require the use of technology to communicate effectively. It is important that everyone knows how to effectively use the technology. Plan some training or quick reference guides on all the technologies to be used to start off on the right foot. This will ensure everyone is able to concentrate on meeting topics rather than trying to figure out how to mute/unmute when necessary over the phone or on computer speakers.
My previous 2 posts were about requirements for virtual team members and leaders to create the best team mix. To increase the team’s future success, the team should have their first meeting face-to-face. The team leader should personally contact each member, welcome them to the team by explaining how they fit into the group, and let them know when and where the first meeting will be. Then at that first meeting, conduct an activity that will make the team members more aware of the pros and cons of certain behaviors in meetings that will bog the group down. In the new book “Business Improv” by Val and Sarah Gee, they provide a great activity for this startup meeting. I have adapted this activity for virtual teams to use in their first face-to-face meeting and summarized the instructions below. There are also other activities in the book that can be done in future face-to-face meetings and a few relationship building ones that may be done in virtual meetings or by pairing up members outside the meeting.
|Business Improv book|
- Recognize underlying issues and cause of disruptive behaviors to eliminate them.
- Manage the need to control other’s behavior by creating personal accountability.
2. Do the activity in 4 rounds spending 2 to 3 minutes on each round.
- Round 1: Individually and silently, have each team member think about what behaviors before, during, and after a meeting may cause disruption or annoyance, and result in ineffective meetings They should select, but not share, the one they feel is the worst for the next round.
- Round 2: In small groups of 5-6 people, have the team members hold a mock meeting on any subject they choose. During this meeting, everyone is to demonstrate to the fullest the bad behavior they selected in round 1.
- Round 3: Each individual member must now think about what the opposite behavior of the one they just acted out could be. If anyone can not determine an opposite behavior, ask them to consider a good behavior they think should be used in meetings.
- Round 4: In the same small groups, have the team members hold a mock meeting on any subject they choose. During this meeting, everyone is to demonstrate to the good behavior they selected in round 3.
- “What was the biggest difference between meetings that were disrupted and those that were not?”
- “What are the human needs behind the disruptive behaviors?”
- “What specific actions can you take to stop disruptive behaviors during meetings?”