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Tips for Having Great Virtual Meetings

Tips for Having Great Virtual Meetings


    (Editor’s note: The following post is an excerpt from the book The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential by Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese. Ron Ricci is the vice president of corporate positioning and has spent the last decade helping Cisco develop and nurture a culture of sharing and collaborative processes. In addition, he has spent countless hours with hundreds of different organizations discussing the impact of collaboration. Carl Wiese is senior vice president of Cisco’s collaboration sales — a multi-billion global business. He has presented on the importance of collaboration to business audiences in dozens of countries, including Australia, China, Dubai, India, Mexico and all across Europe and the United States. For more information please visit http://thecollaborationimperative.com.)

    New technology and the reality of working in global organizations means we are replacing traditional in-person meetings with travel-free, technology-enabled, face-to-face collaboration that can occur at anytime, with anyone, anywhere in the world.

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    The virtual workplace has many advantages, but it also introduces new challenges. We work with people we’ve never met before, and we cannot bond in the same way we do when we are sitting across the table from them.

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    The three most important ingredients of a successful virtual meeting are trust, communication and ready access to information. Here are a few tips to help you succeed:

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    • Before the meeting, make sure attendees have all the preparation materials they will need and the time to review them.
    • Begin with a quick warm-up. For example, start the meeting by asking remote attendees to describe what’s happening in their country, town or office.
    • During “blended” meetings, where some attendees are gathering in person and others are participating virtually, address remote attendees first and then offer the opportunity to speak to in-person attendees.
    • Identify in-person attendees. In-room speakers — whether presenting or making a comment — should introduce themselves so that remote attendees know who is speaking.
    • Ask remote attendees to be vocal. Emphasize that it is their responsibility to let in-person people know if they cannot hear or follow the discussion.
    • Don’t assume everyone is comfortable with the virtual collaboration technology. Communicate and publish the location and guidelines for the tools you’re using.
    • Rotate meeting times. Ensure that each time zone has a meeting scheduled during normal business hours.
    • Solicit participation. Regularly ask remote attendees if they have comments and encourage participants to post a message.
    • Assign a meeting monitor. Keep an eye out for questions, IMs or chat postings and interjects from remote attendees.
    • If your virtual team includes customers, partners, suppliers or vendors, ensure the security of your documents and corporate information.
    • Avoid colloquialisms, acronyms and corporate-speak if you have nonnative speakers.

    (Photo credit: Businessman and Businesswoman Having Meeting via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on October 20, 2020

    10 Principles for Success to Start Living Your Dream Life

    10 Principles for Success to Start Living Your Dream Life

    Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career? If you’re ready to take responsibility for your life, then you need to tap into some principles for success.

    Many people—maybe you—stopped following their passion and purpose way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

    You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

    Here are 10 success principles to help you reach your goals and live a rich life on your terms.

    1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

    If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

    Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

    When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand[1].

    Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work[2].

    Give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life and help you focus on goal setting.

    2. Focus on Your Strengths

    Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

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    Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

    3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

    Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

    The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

    You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

    To use this principle for success, take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it. Is it what you really want? If it’s what you really want to be doing, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

    4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

    The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP, the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life, it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

    Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut[3].

    Silencing your inner critic is one of the best principles for success.

      To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

      This is one of the principles for success that will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

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      5. Embrace Your Inner Self

      Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid people will find out how odd or strange we are. However, our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths.

      Odds are that you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

      • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
      • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
      • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

      The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward. Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

      Here’s How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment.

      6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

      I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you, but you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

      To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

      Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

      A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

      Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

      Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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      7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

      Pretend I’m your fairy godmother, and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

      What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

      8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

      Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time[4].

      Furthermore, a Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere[5].

      What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

      These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

      9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

      Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

      This is one of the most powerful principles for success for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

      Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

      “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

      To learn more about how to get off autopilot and take specific actions towards your goals, check out this video:

      10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

      Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

      Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

      You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, and you can succeed again.

      Final Thoughts

      Eleanor Roosevelt said,

      “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

      Following these principles for success will help you find the time and energy to achieve your goals and live with clear intention.

      Stand still, get quiet, and listen. Your life is constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rock star potential in life and business. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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      Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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