As we begin to re-enter the office setting, many emotions come with this transition. How do you manage your teams’ worries and hesitations during this time? How do you acknowledge the fear around managing the workday in a healthy, meaningful, and productive way?
Well, we all need to do the same thing we did at the beginning of this pandemic; we take it one day at a time, listen and learn as we go.
In our last newsletter, we discussed leading resilient hybrid teams, and now we want to focus on facilitating and designing hybrid meetings.
Why meetings? According to Otter.ai, 15% of an organization’s time is spent in meetings. If you’re a middle manager, you’ll spend 35% of your day in meetings, and if you’re in upper management, that increases to a minimum of 50% of your time in meetings. If we spend that much time each day in meetings, whether remote, in-person or increasingly hybrid, isn’t it worth paying close attention to the impact of our meetings together?
As a team, Spectrum recently collaborated with the Rae Ringel Group for a deep dive into creating powerful hybrid meetings. Here are a few simple yet important things to consider before, during, and after a hybrid meeting to increase engagement and promote inclusivity:
Assign a specific person or group to own the design and facilitation of the meeting.
Know your audience – connect with participants in advance. What might they need to feel included? Who is in-person vs. virtual?
Provide pre-work in advance of meeting to maximize time.
Send out a meeting reminder with an agenda and pre-work.
Set ground rules when the meeting begins – everyone is on camera, and no side conversations allowed.
Start your meeting in an inclusive manner, give a shoutout to your virtual participants.
When presenting, look directly at the camera to demonstrate virtual team members are critical and valued. Frequently switch between participants in-person and virtual.
Keep an eye out for participants unmuting themselves to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.
During activities and breakouts, pair in-person and virtual participants.
Normalize technology and have everyone use the same platforms for check-ins, note-taking, and sharing.
Send a follow-up with a recap of the meeting, sharing notes, action items, and the recording.
Provide a post-meeting evaluation with questions like: Was the meeting organized? Did you feel included? How was technology?
If facilitating and designing hybrid meetings is new to you and your organization, be patient with the process and allow yourself some grace. It will take time for everyone to adjust, but if you lead with an open mind about what the future holds instead of looking back on “the way it used to be,” you will inspire others to create this new world of hybrid inter-connectedness along with you.
We are re-creating how the world interacts in meetings, and so can you.
If you would like to receive impactful leadership tips and tools in the coming months, be sure to join our email list.
Thank you for being on this journey with us.
Spectrum Leadership Solutions Team