For most businesses worldwide, Zoom meetings have become the standard for team and client communications. From C-suite conferences to 15 minute Stand-ups, it’s become the newly accepted replacement for in-person meetings.
Although an argument can be made for face-to-face meetings vs virtual sessions, the fact remains that attention and proper communication are critical for effective and efficient meetings.
Here are some ways we use DISC Assessments to help improve online meetings:
1. Purpose: make them want to attend your meeting
Before you start your virtual staff meeting, you want your managers to make sure that everyone is clear on the purpose of the meeting. They should write down a list of questions that need to be addressed and make sure everyone knows what those questions are.
For example: Why is this meeting important? Why should we be in this meeting? What do we want to achieve at this meeting? What are the key outcomes we want to see at this meeting? What are some key decisions that need to be made at this meeting?
An HR professional can put the meeting manager in a very good position to answer these questions in ways that will immediately make sense to members of the team.
Using the results of DISC Assessments, the “why” questions can be answered according to the four behavioral styles indicated by your team’s results. The reasons for the meeting can then be stated in ways that inspire the various styles. For example:
- We are meeting today for these purposes.
- To determine our next steps (D decisive)
- To reconnect the team members (I interactive)
- To evaluate any future risks (C cautious)
- To check our measurables (S stabilizing)
By providing the manager with regular updates on the DISC profiles of team members, the manager can become equipped to define the purpose of meetings around their particular behavioral styles.
2. Agenda: Create one that works for everyone
An agenda is the most important part of any meeting. Without an agreed-upon agenda, the leader will be unable to keep track of what has been accomplished and what remains to be done.
To ensure that your virtual staff meetings remain productive and efficient, the manager should take time to create a clear and concise agenda; all participants should review it before each meeting begins. The purpose of this step is twofold: firstly, it allows everyone involved in the meeting (including the manager) to understand how much time they’re expected to spend on each task or discussion point; secondly, it can help prevent discussions from going off topic by providing an explicit list of topics which are being discussed during that meeting.
An HR professional can help executives and managers prepare very effective agendas for virtual meetings. Using the result of DISC Assessments, an HR Professional can provide the manager or executive with an overview of the team, and a deeper understanding of how people work.
People have different ways of getting things done. This awareness may prevent a manager from using a one-size-fits-all approach to the meeting agenda. The DISC can provide the meeting leader with a new awareness of how to outline the meeting.
For example, the agenda may include questions that allow for multiple methods of achieving a goal. It may include an unstructured pathway and a more structured pathway. Or it might include a few options that the team can choose from, rather than assuming one outcome.
3. Communication: make room for multiple styles
To ensure that virtual meetings are an efficient and effective use of time, it’s important to set expectations for communication. Watching participants on a screen is not ideal for reading body language. The short delay that people experience can also cause misunderstandings.
The need for clarity of communication is extremely important online, and managers have to be proactive. However, without a deep understanding of the different ways people give and receive communication, the task is very difficult.
DISC Assessments can provide a deeper background of understanding around communication styles.
DISC profiles include insights into communication approaches. Some team members will need more constant engagement. Others will want to listen in and determine a consensus before speaking up. A few will have a cautious style and will need more encouragement to feel safe in sharing. Meeting discussions that assume these various motivations and styles will be more effective in inviting more communication, and more clarity of communication.
With the right awareness, virtual meetings can be very effective.
To make the most of your virtual staff meetings, you’ll need the right awareness of the participants themselves. Or if the team is large, you’ll need a better understanding of the multiple ways people gauge the value of a meeting, communicate with each other, and get things done.
Virtual meetings are here to stay. They will only get better with an intentional approach to their improvement. After all, the meeting may be virtual, but the people on the screens are very real.