Video meetings: The new way of meeting in companies

According to a survey by the Zoom company, the time spent on video meetings increased between 3 and 5 times with the pandemic. It is a new reality that is probably here to stay. Most of the time, there is no point in traveling to attend face-to-face follow-up meetings. It is not productive for the company, nor efficient for the worker, nor convenient for the environment…

One of the elements that we are going to have to work on in the very near future is the need to improve the system of these meetings. If you are a team leader, you have seen how more and more you have become the organizer of these virtual meetings. The system begins with good management of the call, development and monitoring of the agreements adopted. Next I am going to show you, in a very summarized way, the ten main mistakes that we have all made in this facet.

Mistake 1: Not making a clear point

Many times we find meetings whose call does not include the answer to a key question: What are we going to meet for? Like everything in life, the most important thing begins with the purpose and the objectives that we want to achieve. As simple as it sounds, you can get more out of your meetings by clarifying that aspect. I recommend that you write it succinctly, briefly, in no more than one sentence with 7-10 words. Think that will be the statement of the matter.

Mistake 2: Summoning more people than necessary

One of the most frequent problems is not hitting the summoned ones. If you summon more people than you should, you are going to waste money and discourage people whose participation will be merely passive. If you leave someone out of the meeting, you will need a new meeting to deal with that issue, with the consequent demotivation of the person not summoned, who ends up thinking that it is not relevant to their boss or superior. Additionally, if these situations are repeated, they denote important organizational problems in the company. It is worth spending some time to think about what value contribution each of the attendees can make, and if you forget someone relevant.

Mistake 3: Not Setting an Agenda

It’s fine to get the point right, but the main element that orders this type of meeting is its agenda. When it does not exist or is not successful, the participants lack a guide to prepare their contribution. Later, as in a trial, they claim defenselessness and you can’t say anything about it. One of the main tasks of a leader with respect to calling meetings is to establish his agenda. The advantage of technology is that you can launch the call and ask that, in a collaborative way, the attendees adjust the topics. That will make them more likely to actively and positively intervene in it.

Mistake 4: Not paying attention to connectivity

Statistically, this is the main mistake we can make. Normally we blame the technology, when in most cases it is solved by previously checking connectivity. If it is your first connection in the day, start a little earlier to check the quality of the signal. If you can, connect to your router using an ethernet cable. If you use wifi you can do it with Speedtest or similar (put speed test in your browser). If the signal is not enough, try moving closer to the router.



Mistake 5: Starting the meeting late and not anticipating it

Punctuality when starting is very important, but in virtual meetings it is even more so. Keep in mind that, as a participant, there is nothing more frustrating than waiting in front of a screen that reminds you that the meeting will start when the organizer connects. But, in addition, since this modality lacks a large part of the social component that face-to-face meetings have, uncomfortable silences can be generated that will not help participation. The slogan should be: maximum three minutes of courtesy over the time that appears on the calendar.

Mistake 6: Not clarifying the dynamics of the interventions

Surely you have attended meetings in which people participate in a rush, with background noise and jumping from one point of the agenda to another. It can be fun and provide you with anecdotes to tell at the coffee machine, but it’s terribly unproductive. To eliminate the risk, five simple messages: whoever does not speak, activate the mute, whoever wants to intervene, raise their hand (or equivalent tool), if someone wants to leave an appointment or reference, do so in the chat, the message will be scrupulously followed agenda and there will only be one secretary who takes the minutes, known to all and the leader is always the last to pronounce. Learn more on this post about 5 messages from a leader that improves productivity 

Mistake 7: Not controlling the time factor

Companies that practice very long meetings are not productive. This practice generates unnecessary stress and endemic fatigue. You must be extremely rigorous in controlling the development of the time of the meeting. Everyone in the (virtual) room must know what item on the agenda is being addressed, when the breaks will occur and how long they will last (these will never be announced by their duration, but by the time of rejoining).

Imagen de cabecera para entrada 10 errores en una reunión virtual


Mistake 8: Forgetting the conclusions phase before finishing

Many times I have had the feeling that the end of a meeting is like the end of a season of a Netflix series: you are left wondering how it will continue. The way in which it is terminated is as or more relevant than the way of summoning. Because a meeting doesn’t end when you hit the leave meeting button. Precisely, the work of the leader is much more relevant from then on, his work consists of ensuring that the agreements reached are fulfilled. To do this, you must complete it by reviewing the conclusions, point by point, assigning a person in charge and a deadline for execution. also the method how it will be checked that the defined deadlines have been met. This can be done through follow-up meetings or by reporting directly to the leader.

Mistake 9: Not tracking the effectiveness of meeting

Most companies forget to check the efficiency level of their meetings. They go into a loop of reunionitis and don’t stop to think if they are in the right direction. To avoid this, activity indicators must be generated (they measure quantitative elements such as the hours invested, average number of attendees, etc.), economic indicators (the cost of the meetings measured in approximate investment in attendee salaries) and satisfaction indicators (for example, the punctuality rate, the number of suitable participants and the elaboration of action plans).

Mistake 10: Not paying attention to the formation of our teams

To participate in a meeting, a series of key competencies are required. Not everyone brings them as standard. The good news is that they can be purchased. You can evaluate your team on what is critical to the success of this type of meeting: results orientation, impact and influence, technology adoption, emotional intelligence, flexibility and adaptation, and capacity for cooperation. Do not hesitate to invest in the professional growth of your team. It is a formula that is not always fast, but without a doubt it is the one that provides the greatest guarantees to become a high-performance team.