A couple of weeks back, Angelo from the Leading Virtually blog wrote about casual virtual team participants and the danger they pose to virtual teams. The main idea was that if you don’t know how to work specifically on a virtual team, you will pull down the performance of the team because you are doing things the wrong way.
Because of this adoption, those who are not skilled or well versed in the nuances of running a virtual team or being a member of a virtual team are becoming regular users of virtual technology. We write many articles discussing the “best practices” that virtual team leaders and participants should follow to make the most effective use of their virtual team time. These best practices are based on academic research. In my opinion, casual virtual team members do not have the time to read research and care little about the best practices of virtual teams as they see no use in applying these practices. They do not realize that virtual team meetings are very different from face to face meetings and that different methods must be adopted to make a virtual team meeting more effective. For instance, a colleague of mine at work conducts a virtual meeting once a week. It is her first encounter with virtual teams; however, she does not think that the meeting is much different than a face to face meeting. This leads to meetings that she describes as being highly ineffective and lasting longer than two hours with little getting accomplished. She absolutely despises her virtual team meetings, which are conducted by a geographically dispersed team. Little does she know that virtual collaboration has many advantages and that with a little bit of research she could turn her ineffective virtual team into an effective one.
Keys for Effective Virtual Team Meetings
To help towards that goal, here’s a short presentation with five keys to maximize the effectiveness of virtual team meetings. The five keys are:
- The basics of great meetings still apply.
- Replace visual cues.
- Share the bad times.
- Use screen sharing to share notes.
- Avoid bad fitting virtual meetings.
What have you found that’s contributed to more effective virtual team meetings?