Get a (free!) virtual introduction to virtual collaboration in our webinar Virtual Collaboration: Tips and Tools this Thursday, April 9. Or learn and try out best practices in next Thursday’s webinar Virtual Collaboration Deep Dive.
Sam Kaner’s Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making [affiliate link] can help you empower your team to make decisions that are durable because they are shared. When decisions get revisited again and again, that’s a sign that people aren’t committed to the plan. This book will help you avoid this common dilemma.
Why do people hate meetings? Simple: Because too many meetings are a waste of time.
These issues are hardly unique to online meetings. But they get worse in virtual spaces, where everything takes longer than it does in person.
To keep meetings focused on their intended outcomes, plan for the 6 steps of meeting closing. (That’s right. I want you to begin at the end.)
An intentional close to an online meeting has 6 steps.
See how having these steps in mind from the outset can help you keep the meeting focused? Knowing — and clearly communicating — the destination from the outset can help you and your team stay on the path.
Next, you want to make sure the decisions the team makes are durable, so that you don’t have to revisit them again and again. Two of the do’s and don’ts for online facilitators I shared in the intro webinar can help.
Making a clear record of what we decided to do rather than what we talked about focuses the team on action items. Assigning each item to one person creates accountability and alleviates buck-passing. In the next meeting, then, team members will report on what they did toward their action items and what remains.
Unless the situation changes, the initial decision does not need to be revisited. As facilitator, it’s your job to have a record of past decisions at the ready. If you hear an issue being re-introduced, you can remind the team that this issue was decided on such-and-such a date.