It’s the year of the hybrid meeting—but will it work?
We’re all eager to get back to “normal” and have that sense of firm ground beneath our feet. Over the past weeks, our company has gone from exclusively digital facilitations to hosting in-person retreats, and here’s the reality:
Whether digital or in-person, it is not the platform that matters.
It’s the structure. In other words: the meeting’s design.
How we convene should be where we place our attention, not where we convene. Of course, venue is certainly an element, but it’s not the element. Leaders have a huge misconception about meetings—often thinking in-person is best, rather than leveling the playing field and enabling every attendee to contribute equally and fully. The real secret is not deciding whether to have a meeting in-person or on Zoom, but making sure the meeting is effective.
So imagine my pleasure when I stumbled across this delightful read in the New York Times last week.
How to Have a Good Meeting
There are so many good nuggets, but this is one I think most applies to the majority of us:
How is the information you have to convey best understood?
- Through “lean media” (which is text-based) OR
- Through “rich media” (which includes nonverbal context)
A meeting can be good.
A few criteria help leaders maximize their gatherings:
- You know what your goals are for the meeting. We find it most helpful to define a clear purpose and intended result(s) for every meeting.
- You do the thing. Intelligently use facilitation methods to achieve the purpose and intended results.
- Somebody reports out. The meeting isn’t over until you clarify the “who/do”—who is going to do what.
- Cascade communication. This comes from one of my faves, Patrick Lencioni, who says he’s heard claims that employees won’t believe what leaders are communicating to them until they’ve heard it seven times. People are skeptical about what they’re being told unless they hear it consistently over time.
To embrace the year of the hybrid, consider:
- The result or impact of your meeting; what are you trying to produce?
- The most effective approach—whether lean or rich media
- Leveraging in-person gatherings to build rapport, sense of team, and camaraderie
- Harnessing digital forms of communication to create equity, focus, and reduce your environmental footprint