What makes remote meetings so difficult?
Teaching a bunch of great in-the-room trainers, facilitators and coaches to do their thing remotely recently, it struck me that we can boil it down to three big challenges, the 3 Difficult Ds:
- Disconnection (both literal and metaphorical)
To make our remote meetings and events brilliant, we need to tackle these.
- Video cameras on!
- Notifications off!
- Ensure everyone calls from a quiet place
- Don’t allow talk-over-Powerpoint. A slide or two is fine: max ten minutes
- Don’t get too ‘tool-tastic’. Brilliant collaboration gadgets such as fancy online whiteboards can be distracting
- Invite participants to bring their own beverages and snacks
- Plan short meetings wherever possible
- Use asynchronous comms (eg Slack) appropriately
- Break up periods of group discussion with breakout sessions
- Schedule stretch breaks in longer calls
- Use the best kit that you can
- Have some kind of backup plan for when your primary comms fail. Because they will!
- Adopt an antifragile attitude when things do go wrong.
- Facilitate human-to-human connections with introductions, check-ins, warm-up activities etc
- Schedule some informal time before and after ‘the meeting’
- Ensure participants can connect with each other afterwards (via email, Slack etc)
- Consider scheduling online social events and mixers, like Happy Melly’s dance party
In comments elsewhere, Howard Esbin has proposed a fourth D – disembodiment. What do you think?
What other ideas do you have? Please comment below.