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Virtual Meetings Require Extra Effort

Simple exchanges of overt information are often missed or misunderstood

The weekly staff all-hands meeting has a long, semi-honorable history in organizational life. As our workplaces have become half-virtual, half-face-to-face, the nature of these meetings has changed, but the purpose remains the same. Bring everyone up to date, get the team on the same page, and ensure that we’re all working together. If there are issues, deal with them. If there are successes, celebrate them. And, if there are personnel changes, mention them.

The advantage of meeting face to face is that a good deal of group solidarity and level-setting gets expressed in a very efficient way. New people can learn the culture of the team, for example, with head shakes, eye rolls, and laughter. In a virtual meeting, that sort of bonding happens much less consistently or not at all. The research shows that something more than 60 percent of the participants are doing something else, so that even simple exchanges of overt information are often missed or misunderstood.

How can you make these meetings better?

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