How to Lead High Impact Virtual Meetings, and get 2 hours a day back!
Are you Zoomed out, burnt out and emotionally exhausted from meeting mania? Rather than fewer meetings, it appears that working from home has spurned on more meetings, many of them unproductive. Let’s look back at what plagued senior managers prior to Covid-19. According to Harvard Business Review a study in 2017: 65% said meetings keep them from completing their own work. 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient. 64% said meetings come at the expense of deep thinking.
The best way to beat meeting fatigue, is to run better meetings. Here are 10 tips on how to run better virtual meetings and get deep thinking time back.
1. Exceed Expectations Set a goal to run the best meeting of the day, week or since the Covid-19 lock down began. The intention of excellence stands out in a sea of mediocre meetings. Stand up, be prepared, and light up the room with enthusiasm.
2. Reduce the number of meetings by questioning everything. Why does this meeting matter? Do I need to be there? Is there a better way of resolving this than through a meeting?
3. Reduce the length of time of every meeting by 25%. On a full schedule that could earn back an 8 hour day!
In Person Virtual
60 minutes 45 minutes
180 minutes 90 minutes
½ day 120 minutes
Full day ½ day
Full Day 2 @ ½ days
4. Break every 30 minutes. Further to point #3, virtual meetings are more taxing on our brain so we need to refresh more often. Stand up, walk around, hold a yoga pose or do a dog show and tell.
5. Start Time Slack: Until the world downloads every virtual technology, start time slack is a thing. Moderators are scrambling to let people into the Zoom room and those who arrive on time are stewing about the late start. Build in an icebreaker or deep link question to help shift into the zone of the meeting and getting people chatting.
6. End on Time Show respect for calendars and commitments. If you’re really close to a breakthrough ask permission for another few minutes. If it’s longer than 10 – resolve it a different way. Another meeting, two or three people meet, or in an email.
8. Bring structure and certainty to the meeting: State the purpose, process and pay off of the meeting: WHY are you meeting, HOW you’re going to get there, and WHAT the payoff will be for engaging. Then jump in, the waters warm, we’re going to things done! Check in at the end to see if you met this objective.
9. Schedule adequate “refresh” time in between meetings. The brain is a powerful processor and keeps working long after the meeting as it reflects back to conflict, complex issues, or uncertainty that arose. It’s very challenging to show up and be present for the next meeting when there is not adequate time to process your thoughts.
10. Keep meetings with yourself. The most frequently cancelled meetings are those we make with ourselves. The agenda of a refresh meeting is to create a calm and steady state. Checking emails, or scrolling social media may seem relaxing until you read something that triggers an emotional response. Thus setting you back even farther from bringing your best to the next meeting.
11. Have better one on one meetings: Group meetings that are an attempt to improve efficiencies by having fewer one on one meetings, fail. Knowing people on a deeper level helps leaders know what each person is capable of contributing and can elicit higher engagement and improve productivity.
If you need help moving from In-Person to Impact, reach out for a Lead from Home Strategy Call. Geraldineree11@gmail.com