Have you ever been in a meeting with individuals that normally are confident and driven, but in a virtual setting they somehow disappear with all lines silent? This could be due to inadequate technology. It could also be a case of leadership running on an older version of meeting etiquette.Based on facts from a study which surveyed full time employees across international markets and all major industry categories, we feel that we can all use a bit of inspiration on how to update our meeting etiquette. For instance:
An executive manager attends 12 meetings per week (average across industries and company sizes). Close to a third (32%) of all meetings are virtual. 91% of employees surveyed by Ovum reports that the number of meetings they are having is static or rising. 67% of employees report that more than half of the meetings they attend are not of value.Source: Ovum, 2014, Death of the Web Conference (as we know it)
This piece from Harvard Business Review provides some inspiration on the subject. Although the instructions are rather elaborate, it is worth a read. The author states several challenges with virtual meetings: dependence on non-verbal communication, lack of attention and lost personal connection, to name a few. Our main take-away is however that these challenges can actually develop our communication skills. By increasing transparency in conversation, conditions for collaboration can be improved. Just as an example, when you are not able to depend on visual clues, it becomes even more important to check in for understanding, agreement and alignment. By not seeing one-another other, you are required to listen more carefully to what people are saying.
Here at Odd Agency, our weekly meetings are often held between Stockholm and Copenhagen. We are using a number of methods to prevent the distance from taking its toll on participation and collaboration. Among other things, we have made a “checking in” routine part of each session. We also make sure to publish collaborative agendas in beforehand, allowing all participants to come prepared. Simple yet quite effective methods. We have updated our meeting etiquette, the question is, have you?