By now, many of us have mastered the art of showing up to Zoom meetings with creative backgrounds, or clicking on the handy “Touch up my appearance” filter in the app’s video settings in order to project our best selves (via The Cut). But how do you ensure your meetings go beyond simply showing face?
The key is to make sure there are voices to go with all of those touched up faces, according to communication experts Susan Glaser, PhD, and Peter Glaser, PhD, in their recent piece for Fast Company. “If people don’t speak during the meeting, that’s when there are ‘meetings after the meeting’ where agreements can become unraveled,” they explained. This can be mitigated by creating a list of names to guide an orderly discussion where everyone has a chance to contribute or even by assigning roles to encourage more active participation.
Create a 'group memory' in your Zoom meetings
With a little planning, virtual meetings can go from passive listening events to must-see screenings — especially if participants have key roles to fill. According to the Work Anywhere telecommunicating resource from Stanford University, some roles in addition to meeting facilitator might include:
- Co-host: Appoint someone who will be prepared to step in at a moment’s notice should any technical mishaps arise during your screen share.
- Moderator: Having someone on hand to monitor Zoom chat encourages an alternative way for people to voice their questions and concerns during the meeting without disrupting the facilitator’s flow.
- Coordinator: This person can keep track of time to ensure all agenda points get covered and also run a screen share of real-time meeting notes so that everyone can follow along visually. As the Glasers point out, “This creates a ‘group memory’ that everyone can view together.”
By intentionally making your virtual meetings more inclusive, you’ll get more mileage out of everyone involved. Add the Glasers, “It’s important to let everyone know their voice matters.”
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