When we are in person, we often have “ground rules, guiding principles or working agreements” that help us set expectations for participation. It’s important to set expectations for your online meetings too! Those who know me well have been in enough online meetings with me that they know I’m going to ask them to show their video so we can see one another. I don’t even have to ask..:) Join me this week as I provide three reasons why it’s important to set expectations for participation in online meetings.
- Promotes engagement. When we set expectations and let our participants know what to expect, it helps them know what it takes to be engaged and that we WANT them to be engaged. If we don’t want engagement, why are we having a meeting? (If you missed my post on “meeting purpose” check it out here). We can let them know that they are an important part of the meeting and guide them on how to engage (use the chat feature, call on people directly, actively participate, ask questions, be respectful, be a teacher of others/learner from others, show their video, etc.).
- Reduces distractions. When we set expectations and we model those expectations, it helps reduce distractions. As we all know, online meetings can be a platform for frustration because some people are engaged and others are doing other work and you sometimes can’t quite get to a decision because you have struggled with engaging everyone at once. If you set the expectation that you are going to call on people directly (in a very encouraging and supportive way of course), then folks are going to be more inclined to engage. I heard a great idea from a new colleague and master facilitator, Ryan Soisson, who divides people into color groups and then calls on the “color” to participate. This is a great way to engage your meeting participants without putting them specifically on the spot — ok red team – what do you think about this suggestion?
- Accomplishes your meeting purpose. When you set expectations prior to your meeting (e.g. send your agenda out a week in advance) and begin your meeting with clarifying expectations for participation, you are more likely to accomplish your meeting purpose. Attendees know why you are meeting and how they are an important part of the meeting. You all know what you want to achieve by the end of the meeting and you are more likely to accomplish that purpose!
How have you found setting expectations helpful for online meetings?
If you missed my Facebook Live on this post, check it out here!
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