If you have already switched to work from home, it is important to know what makes this type of work more specific. Talking remotely is always harder than talking directly to the person you are talking to. The technical aspect makes it only visible to the person speaking, although they are all interviewees. We lack the non-verbal communication of the others. Secondly, people have a need to have a live meeting, comment, supplement, give feedback to a person they are talking to, but this can create cacophony, so it is best to have only one person speak at a time.

The distance meeting requires more time and attention in preparation

Preparing a meeting has 5 key steps:

  1. Determine what is the need for a long-distance meeting.

During office hours, we have dozens of ad hoc meetings during the day, because we meet in passing, or often come up with the idea of discussing something with a colleague and talking across the table or going to his office. If we did not get along well with a colleague, we are easily available to see each other again. A long-distance meeting can never be ad hoc, it must always be prepared. It would be good to:

  • Just because of the long preparation and emphasizing the importance of topics for this channel of communication, there are fewer daily meetings, but to be organized in detail.
  • It is also a useful rule to divide the meetings into shorter forms, each meeting longer than 1h with multiple participants becoming a requirement and unmotivating.
  1. Set a clear goal. It is one thing if the meeting is initiated by the manager, it is different if someone is delegated to prepare the meeting, it is more difficult for the other one because he needs to gain the speaker’s authority in both voice and words.The meeting should have one main goal:
  • Write for yourself in the preparation of what the goal is, and it would be a good idea to emphasize this at the very beginning of the session to the interviewees – sharing information, making decisions, creating a plan …
  • Some of the additional goals that you need to set aside for a meeting should be to get insights into how people are feeling right now, what they need, and let them know about future plans and goals.
  1. Identify interviewees and adjust the tone: You define roles based on your specific contribution to the meeting, but don’t forget the personal styles of the particular person. One can only contribute with a cheerful spirit, especially if the atmosphere is tense. If you have enough time, allow as much atmosphere as possible to relax and motivate people to give their maximum, and they will when emotions are shared and legitimacy and space of spontaneity are given.

When it comes to roles, it would be a good idea to specify in each of the meeting topics:

  • who is the key person to give an opening opinion or position on the topic?
  • also, who should contribute to this opinion with their expertise or specific team role, eg to approve such an attitude?
  • who will be directly tasked with agreeing on a specific topic and implementing it?
  • finally, who is also responsible for the quality of the assignment, more specifically who is the executor?

Connect in conversation all these four types of responsibilities for each specific topic.

  1. Create an Agenda For the reasons outlined above, this agenda should be drafted in a little more detail. Consider:
  • If a topic is of greater importance and emotional value – try to determine immediately how the interviewees will treat it. Give this topic more time than you would normally give, just because technically every individual talk show is more complex due to the loss of the atmosphere of immediacy.
  • And do not forget that these meetings when it comes to remote work are becoming an important place of exchange between people. Schedule time for people to share their impressions, emotions, and needs.
  1. Send a meeting invitation, suggested topics, or a meeting agenda to all scheduled participants on time. It is important that meetings are not delayed! Keep the practice of regular meetings at the same time.

If the first meetings turn out to be worse than you expected, devote more time to subsequent meetings until the details of this organization and operation become routine.

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