Remote teams around the globe have been under one giant cloud zoom fatigue since last March. It’s been almost a year since the pandemic began, since then, have you really been creating engaging virtual meetings?
In the first part of this two-part episode, we speak with virtual meeting expert, John Chen. John helps us learn tips on how to plan engaging virtual meetings. Inside this first episode, you’ll learn best practices for designing your virtual meetings. You’ll also further understand the role that Psychological Safety has inside your virtual meetings.
What is engaging virtual meetings?
Before we reveal how to create an engaging virtual meeting, let’s define how to create a non-engaging virtual meeting. To bore everyone, put up slides and talk for an hour. For example, to make sure no person is engaged at the meeting, copy your in-person meeting into an online format. Also be sure to make sure that none of your participant’s comment, talk, react, or ask questions.(Hint: If you don’t want audience engagement, then send a video.)
Engaging Virtual Meetings Best Practices
Connection Before Content
Engaging virtual meetings must keep and retain an emotional and intellectual connection with each participant throughout meeting. Connect with each participant before they dive into the content. Additionally, take time for virtual meeting ice breakers too. This simultaneously shows the participants that you value the relationships everyone has with each other. Then keep that level of personal connection throughout the meeting. In engaging virtual meetings, people connect, engage, and have fun as a result.
Create a Safe & Interactive Virtual Meeting Environment
Establishing good psychological safety in virtual meetings is the most important thing leaders should focus on to engage their teams in virtual meetings. Psychological safety in a virtual meeting is when all participants feel safe in front of the group and contribute, interact and chat. There’s a chance that you haven’t intentionally created a safe space for interaction, contribution and engagement and consequently, you might not have very interactive online meetings.
3 Steps to Create Virtual Psychological Safety
To establish virtual psychological safety, leaders need to go first, be inviting and allow for awkward silence.
Let’s look at those in more detail:
Leaders need to go first and lead through vulnerability. One example of displaying this is to share when you’ve failed recently. This type of authenticity and vulnerability allows your team to feel more comfortable sharing about when they’ve failed recently and helps create a learning culture. Going first also helps bridge the gap between you and your team to create stronger connections and deeper trust required to accomplish big goals. So, don’t be afraid to go first and display a unique trait or characteristic that you’d like to encourage others on your team to display.
To establish strong virtual psychological safety, recognize everyone’s presence when they login to the meetings. By simply acknowledging their presence and being inviting, you can help create a space that makes them more comfortable to share and engage freely and more comfortably without the fear of judgement.
Allow for Awkward Silence
Lastly, in order to establish strong virtual psychological safety, allow for awkward silence. Don’t call out on people when you ask questions, give them time to think about their answers and allow them to answer when they want to answer.
To learn more, make sure you check out part 2 of this series here.
Subscribe here to be reminded about Part 2 of our Engaging Virtual meetings Series next week.
About John Chen:
John Chen, founder of Geoteaming and author of Engaging Virtual Meetings. John has truly figured out how to create engaging virtual meetings. and has delivered his message to over 230,000 participants in over 30 countries.
Upcoming Classes from John Chen:
- Turn on the Damn Camera
- Hey, You’re on Mute
- Virtual Team Building
- The Virtual Presenter