Tips for Top Virtual Meetings 2 - WHO?

Question: when you are setting up a virtual meeting do you ask more people than you need to? Really! Think about it. Perhaps by default you always ask the whole team, or a certain group for a recurring specific meeting. But do they actually all need to come? It is really worth giving this some thought: there may be people for whom, on this occasion, it is not entirely relevant or necessary for them to come, or worse could actually be a waste of their time.


If you ask everyone by default, every time, it could lead to boredom and frustration with the meetings, negative expectations of any further meetings, demoralization and instinctive lack of focus. The meeting is also far more likely to descend into those circular conversations and digressions on to people’s own agendas and hobby horses.


A couple of exceptions: if the purpose is a team catch up meeting you probably do need to ask the whole team! Sometimes also you do need to ask someone because it would be undiplomatic not to do so, but be careful you are right about this: it would be undiplomatic to ask them to a meeting that wastes their time. How about a quick email to see what they think?


So, when deciding whether or not to ask someone, consider for example if they have:

· Information to give or gain

· Expertise, experience or a useful perspective to share

· The authority to implement decisions

· The balance or calm to bring to anticipated conflict

· A fresh perspective or an approach that could enliven the meeting


… you get the picture: don’t automatically hit the button on everyone’s email for the invite, or ask the same group as the last meeting without giving it some thought!

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