We learned a lot of good lessons back in a day in kindergarten.
When it comes to virtual etiquette, it's time to bring a few of those lessons forward to the current day virtual meetings to start taming the verbal madness that can happen in this environment.
First, we are going to start with the tried and true action of raising our hand up if you would like to say something.
I know this seems very basic and rudimentary, but it has been a very effective tool in the classroom management world for a very long time. At times, the conversations in virtual meetings can have an easy flow. But more often than not, these meetings can get terribly busy and even turn to the point of verbally chaotic. Raising your hand is an easy visual way to let others know you would like to add to the conversation without it becoming a vocal yelling match to see who is the loudest of everyone there.
Also, the person presenting during the meeting has dedicated their time to share their expertise with you. Please remember to respect the speaker and your buddies at the meeting who have taken the time out of their day to be there and make sure your actual sound is muted. This shows consideration for everyone's time and interest in the subject. Once you raise your hand and you have been called on for your question during a presentation, unmute and ask away.
Secondly, another way to properly add to the conversation is to ask the question or share a comment in the chat.
This ventures us back to the days of writing on the blackboard in class. This easily lets the host or the presenter know that your thought or question needs to be addressed during the meeting. To be clear, once it has been put in the chat, it is the host or the presenter’s responsibility to bring these questions to light at an appropriate time, not the person who asked it in the chat. With that, it is good virtual manners to say thank you either vocally or through the chat by the person who inquired with the question.
Virtual meetings are about cultivating connections and communication. These long-standing practices are still effective while we keep these connections thriving as we embrace this new normal.
The best way to create this environment is for the host to set these guidelines at the very beginning of the meeting. Both of these approaches foster creating synergy and connections for everybody that encourages fluid and easy to manage meetings with all participants feeling like they can contribute.
If you are interested in learning about how you can hone in on your body language as a tool to gain more business and uplevel your leadership skills, click on the link below to view more information at The Body Language Strategy Academy.