Companies and people have the freedom and the technology to truly be flexible. We can — and do — meet with people around the globe without ever getting on an airplane.
Most of us take this for granted. The fantastic has become the pedestrian.
We are reminded that everything has its pros and cons.
One stumbling block that our coaches are constantly asked to provide answers for is the challenge of everyone talking at once in a virtual meeting.
This can, and does, happen in any meeting, anywhere. When everyone is in a room together people exchange looks — someone shrugs, someone else gestures for the most-anxious looking participant to continue — the meeting resumes.
The massive quantity and quality of unspoken body language transmitted between people is glaringly obvious in its absence.
What do you do when everyone is in their own space, shouting at their computer screen, tablet, or smartphone?
The critical first question you have to ask yourself is:
Is everyone excited or is everyone disagreeing?
Either way, you need to reign everyone in and re-establish a conversational flow. If the former, you must do so without dampening that invaluable enthusiasm. If the latter, you need to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard in a professional manner.
1. Reclaim the floor with a simple phrase like, “Hang on! I want to hear everyone’s opinion, so I’m going to call on each of you, one at a time.”
2. Use this opportunity to call on the people you know to be a little more hesitant to join in the fray, but who have good insights and contributions.
3. Continue to call on each person until everyone has been heard and the meeting is back on track.
Thank you for reading and we’d love to hear about your experiences in virtual meetings. Why not get the conversation started?