As more and more employees work offsite, virtual meetings are becoming a necessity. Since it’s harder to “read the room” when you’re not actually in the same room as your team, these meetings can be tricky to navigate. The key is to focus on building relationships. Allow 10 minutes at the start of each meeting for people to connect and catch up with each other. Think of this as your virtual watercooler time, when you can engage in informal conversations. Ask questions about personal lives and families to get to know each other outside the context of work. Once you officially start the meeting, be sure to refer to each contributor by name so that everyone feels recognized and part of the community. When you can, meet face to face with team members. These techniques help lay the foundation for authentic conversation and connection, which ultimately lead to more-effective virtual meetings.
Adapted from “What Everyone Should Know About Running Virtual Meetings,” by Paul Axtell