Have you ever struggled with having all the team members speak up during a standup? Ensuring everyone gets heard during standup meetings can be a harrowing task for many reasons.
|Helping make virtual team
meetings more productive
Distributed teams attend stand up meetings by web conferencing, con-call or other online collaborative tools. These meetings can be attended in various ways. In some cases, the entire team sits in one room and calls in. In many more cases, however, people tend to call in from different places, as many team members may work in different office locations, remotely while traveling or from their home office.
Coordinating these meetings, especially on globally distributed teams, can be a headache as many people will join the bridge from various locations. While turning on the video camera may help us to understand other’s body language, some may not turn it on due to slow connections, or there are simply way too many team members logged on, so it’s not possible to see everyone clearly on the screen at the same time. Or, some call in using their mobile phone, so the small screen makes viewing people and content challenging. As we are not able to see everyone’s reactions, and connections can cut people off, it can be hard to tell when any person has stopped talking. Because of this, it’s common for more than one person to talk at a time. How can we handle or avoid more than one person speaking at a time during a remote meeting?
(These answers assume that the equipment is working flawlessly!)
There will be other ideas that come to mind as we brainstorm this longer and as technology advances. The key here is that the meeting must be well planned and organized. Communication between as many team members on one side of the call must take place in advance. This does take preparation time for the team calling in, but will save time in actually holding the meeting and also will help in reducing these kinds of interruptions. In addition to this, individual contributors can prepare their talking points in advance (we coach you here, as well).
Jennifer Kumar, author of this post helps Indian and global offshore teams communicate more effectively with US counterparts through programs such as Deliver Impressive Status Updates and Managing Client Expectations. Get in touch with us to get your team onboarded and speaking up during standups.
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Original date: Feb. 2014
Update: Feb. 2020
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