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Work from home – Dos and don’t in an online meeting

Online meetings are part and parcel of Work from home. Most of my time goes into the meeting, right from planning to status update to wrapping up the day. As we spend so much time in meetings, you need to get the right hardware for it. You can find those details in the “Work from Home – Accessories you might need” post.

In this article I will explain these topics:

  • Meeting Preparation
  • Conducting the meeting
  • Attending the meeting
  • Exiting the meeting

Meeting Preparation

It is said that “well planned is half done.” Without planning to get into a meeting is searching in the dark. Here are some tips that you can use to plan the meeting.

Who needs to attend it?

Get a list of people who needs to attend it. Make people mandatory and optional, that will give a good understanding of the meeting.

What is the Agenda?

Ok, to understand it better, what is that you are going to get out of this meeting? If you have those points, please list those while inviting them. So people who attend it will come prepared and they would be already thinking about it, even before the meeting starts.

Always specify the duration of the meeting in Agenda, so the attendees can plan their day.

Conductor Preparation

If you are conducting the meeting, then get prepared. If someone is conducting the meeting, you can offer them the structure. Here is the general structure that I follow that can help.

  1. Introduction (Welcome everyone)
  2. State the purpose of the meeting
  3. Do the presentation
  4. Discussion
  5. Summarize & conclude

Conducting the meeting

You need to have certain skills to effectively conduct a meeting. If you get a chance to do it then grab it. More the meeting more the experience you will gain.

Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Follow the meeting structure, which is listed above
  • Be confident
  • Never deviate from the meeting agenda
  • If you realize the meeting is drifting away, then bring back the focus and stay with the course
  • Think like talking in the Walkie-Talkie. For example, you can say “that is my point“, “you can tell your comments“, “thank you for your input“. By doing this participants get acknowledged then they feel good.
  • Give a summary, so people who haven’t paid attention throughout the meeting may get the gists of the whole meeting
  • Be time cautious, keep the attendants well informed about the time

Attending the meeting

While attending the meeting you can follow these:

  • Wait for your turn, or raise the hand feature to put your question
  • Be in mute if anyone is talking, if you unmute the conductor may watch it and allow you to talk
  • Don’t keep on working while you listening to the meeting, that is a very habit. Be in the meeting. Unless it is a workshop you have to be a participant, not a silent listener who does some other work. You can’t get enough focus on the work that you are doing parallelly. So it is better you finish the meeting and get that job done
  • Don’t talk while eating
  • Inform in chat/messaging feature, if you have to go to take a break. And inform when you back

Exiting the meeting

Once the meeting is over, make sure you greet the team good bye and leave the meeting. It would be considered as rude when you exit the meeting without biding good bye.

These are the some of the meeting etiquette, if you have any points, please add it in the comments.


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