As remote work continues to thrive, many businesses have moved online meetings. While these can be useful for quick factual updates or non-contentious issues, there are certain instances when face to face is still more beneficial.
For example, if you’re working with a client or a team on a project, meeting in person can help establish a stronger bond. It also allows you to read body language and other non verbal communication to avoid misunderstandings.
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Regardless of the format of your meeting, it’s important to be mindful of distractions. They can steer emotional energy, creative thinking, and collective wisdom away from the important matters being discussed.
While it’s not possible to eliminate all distractions, there are ways to minimize them. One way to do this is by creating a daily habit of focused work.
The best way to do this is by setting timers for specific focus periods. Doing this helps you achieve your goals and increase productivity.
You can also limit interruptions by adjusting notifications in Teams and Outlook to fit your workflow. You can even hide or mute chats in Teams to further reduce distractions during meetings.
In addition to limiting distractions, it’s crucial to ensure your team members have a reason to attend the meeting in the first place. Then, you can help them pay attention to the information being presented in a way that’s relevant and meaningful to them.
When you’re in an online meeting, it can be especially hard to speak up and deliver your message. You may be nervous about what others will think of your presentation and want to keep your voice quiet.
Confidence is something that needs to be developed over time. You can’t build it overnight, but if you work on it regularly, you’ll start to feel more confident in meetings.
In order to improve your virtual meeting confidence, here are a few tips:
Maintain eye contact. This will help you connect with your audience and show them that you are interested in what they have to say.
Standing with your spine erect will also convey confidence. Crossing your arms often reflects a defensive posture, so keep them uncrossed or turn them up to your side when you’re speaking.
Listening intently to what is being said in a meeting will allow you to offer a thoughtful response that will be useful. This is especially important if the topic is complex and requires you to think critically.
Body language is one of the most overlooked aspects of communicating in a virtual meeting. Because of the limitations that technology creates, it’s crucial to pay attention to how you’re displaying your body in order to make a good impression on your online meeting attendees.
A simple gesture like nodding can show that you’re listening to someone else’s words without interrupting them. However, it’s important to watch how often you nod because too many nods can come off as a sign that you don’t understand what’s being said or that you aren’t paying attention.
Your posture, hand gestures and facial expressions are all important nonverbal cues that convey what you’re saying and how you feel about it. For example, biting your lip or trying to conceal it can indicate that you’re nervous or stressed. Conversely, smiling or raising your eyebrows can demonstrate that you’re interested in what other people are saying.
Aside from being more effective for business, face to face meetings are also an excellent way to connect with people. They can give you insight into how others are thinking and feeling, allowing you to make more informed decisions about your strategy and direction.
In addition, you can use face to face interaction as a way to build trust and foster stronger bonds with employees and colleagues. This is particularly useful when you need to convey a sensitive topic or deliver a tough message about broader organizational changes.
Ensure your employees have time to meet in person as much as possible by scheduling office hours and making the most of these times to talk over issues, align expectations or work on career goals. Your team will appreciate the attention they get and your credibility will be enhanced when they see that you care about them and their success in your organization.