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RESPECT The Virtual Meeting

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Posted by Wendy Liberko

September 30, 2014

Automation tools and virtual technologies are superb for increasing our productivity, but at what cost. Besides losing the human touch, are tech gadgets actually eroding our soft skills? 

Let's look a little deeper at this issue. Are you, or is someone on your team suffering from eroding meeting etiquette skills? It can be diagnosed with one or more of the following indicators as seen in this popular conference call parody video:

Video_Spoof_Conference_Calls-632688-edited

If this is your regular virutal meeting, I’d like to offer this simple acronym as reminders of good etiquette for virtual meeting participants.

RESPECT Virtual Meetings

That is: Remember Every Session Participant is Expected to Contribute to the Topic at hand.

To get respect is to give it. Are you also holding yourself accountable to model desirable behaviors when you are a participant on another’s call? If not, it’s time to revisit your own code of etiquette.

Another culprit of conference calls gone wrong: multi-tasking. It distracts us all from fully contributing to any one task. Stay committed. Stay focused. Create an environment for participation as free from distraction as possible before you join. What types of distractions? Ringing or vibrating phones, noise, activity, or clutter in your workspace. Distractions become particularly important if web cams are in use. Clear your workspace and maintain eye contact with the camera.

Tactically speaking, join early enough to ensure you have no difficulties with the web or audio portion of the meeting. Sometimes you may get tripped up by a required software update, ActiveX or other technical component needed in order to properly view the meeting. Take a look around to familiarize yourself with the web meeting controls available to you as a participant. Mute, Unmute, Question, Raise Hand, Chat and more are likely available options. Use these controls to make the most of your experience, as well as to provide feedback to the speaker.

Being attentive, contributing ideas and information add value to a meeting. That’s why you were invited. Right? On the flip side, if you believe you cannot contribute, take responsibility by speaking with the host to validate why they wanted you there. See if there indeed is a match in expectations as soon as possible after receiving the invitation.

Be respectful and keep a professional demeanor. Don’t interrupt the presenter unless questions were invited during the presentation. Many times it’s best to hold them until the Q&A section. When you do ask a question, keep it on topic and succinct. This is a business meeting, whether from corporate, a satellite office, home office or on the run in an airport. Conduct yourself as such.

The presenter, you and other virtual meeting participants will benefit from your demonstration of RESPECT.

This blog was written by Wendy Liberko, Yoh’s Senior Director of Training and Quality.  Wendy brings wide and deep related experience to her role, along with formal education.  Writing from Southern California, Wendy invites you to get involved and to share your employee engagement ideas!

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