Hybrid working can offer the best of both worlds, but can also make for challenging meetings. Here are some tips to help you run hybrid meetings like a pro.
Over the years, we’ve shared tips on how to create solid meeting agendas and generally execute them well.
When much of the world suddenly switched to remote working, we had to drastically change our meeting styles and figure out how to keep teams engaged in virtual conversations.
But now that many companies have moved to a more hybrid work model, the way meetings take place need to be re-evaluated.
In many ways, holding hybrid meetings can be more difficult, as you may have half of your team in the room while others dial in from home.
Make sure the technique is right
There are several technology tools that employers can bring to the conference room to make communication seamless, such as AI cameras and satellite microphones.
At a minimum, your main meeting room should have appropriate audio and video capabilities so that your remote team members can be viewed and heard, and a camera and microphone should ensure they can see and hear you.
Be sure to test the technology you have, both from space and from a remote location, to make sure everyone can see and hear what’s happening in the meeting.
Set up an inclusive agenda
A common thought people have when it comes to meetings is ‘this could have been an email’. So the key to any meeting is making sure you create an agenda worth people’s time.
Ask yourself why you have the meeting. Write down a list of topics or objectives to cover. Decide who needs to be there and think about how you’re going to involve them, especially if they’re remote.
Once you know all that information, think about how best to get everyone involved and keep them engaged in the objectives.
Learn to moderate well
The meeting moderator is essential to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly, that everyone has their say, and that the objectives are pursued. As such, the meeting moderator or chair should open and close the meeting and help transition from topic to topic.
However, to ensure maximum inclusivity and involvement in meetings, the chair should also be able to transfer certain agenda items to other team members so that other voices are heard.
A good moderator should also ask open-ended questions to encourage others to jump in, express their thoughts, and ask questions.
Having a remote co-chair
Ideally, the moderator should be in the room with personal staff. Depending on the size of your meeting, it’s a good idea to ask someone to be your co-chair on the remote side.
One of the hardest parts of hybrid meetings is keeping track of everything at once. It can essentially feel like you’re running two meetings and trying to engage two different audiences. This is where an external co-chair can come and have a look. Their job is to act as the advocate of the outside public.
Not only can they see the meeting from the outside audience’s perspective, but they can also ask questions and add resources to the chat, or help get the outside audience more involved in the conversation. The chair should feel comfortable throwing at the co-chair when needed.
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