Facilitative Leaders excel at collaborating with others to reach sound decisions. But online meetings present a unique challenge: How to tell when agreement is reached? With in-person meetings, you probably instinctively look around the room and note body language. You may even feel comfortable waiting to hear objections and, when none surface, feeling safe to assume agreement. Sometimes this is sufficient when you are looking people in the eyes.
On June 23rd, I partnered with Andy Black and Ali Vega to conduct a webinar about leading better online meetings. First, I covered our recent research about online meetings. Then, Andy shared some tools and best practices, and finally, we both gave a brief overview of Interaction Associates' new workshop, Mastering Online Meetings. (This workshop has been renamed Leading Online Meetings.)
Virtual meetings are here to stay — and so is the challenge of keeping people engaged while they multitask during meetings.
In fact, our recently-conducted business survey points to multitasking in meetings as the top challenge to keeping people engaged and focused — nearly three-quarters of those surveyed say the distractions of people caught up in several tasks at once interfere with meetings and impact their effectiveness.
Business is changing faster than perhaps any other time in recent history. The shifting economy is a prime driver, but so is technology – the rapidly evolving factor in the change sweeping most companies.
Technology innovations are changing what our companies produce and how we get our products/services to market. But technology is also changing how we do what we do.
Workforce Management’s John Hollon recently pointed to a new NFI research study on business meetings on Workforce.com. The study found that "57 percent of business leaders spend 21 percent to 60 percent of their time each week in internal meetings. Some 56 percent of the executives found half of their meetings to be productive." Unfortunately, by implication, that means that half their meetings were not productive, leading to a waste of 10 – 30% of these business leaders' work days.
Marc Andreessen’s “Quote of the Week” last week was ”Why Brainstorming is a Bad Idea." Andreessen quoted Frans Johansson's book, The Medici Effect:
Tightly Organized Agendas Lead To Fruitful Meetings
by Morey Stettner, Investors Business Daily.
A succinct, well-organized agenda raises the odds of a successful meeting. It saves time, sets expectations and helps attendees prepare.
To read more of this article from Investors Business Daily, please go here.
Have you been in a meeting lately — with one or twenty people — when the whole conversation went off on a tangent of no return? This is not an uncommon experience, particularly when the topic is challenging and the players have different points of view.
What can you do — either as a leader or meeting participant — to get people back on track, heading in the same direction, with shared commitment to a positive outcome?