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Online team meetings are the best

( If facilitated well )

Yes, working is more boring for a lot of people sitting home all day. Yes, it is more difficult to grasp what is going on with your people. Yes, I even miss the airplane food! Yes, if you don’t manage your online sessions well, you will be worn out at the end of the day.

But if you do them well, you will notice that doing team sessions, and also strategy sessions can be very effective and energizing, using online tools like Zoom. My 7 tips would be:

  1. Check-in: make sure you stay connected with each other despite not being able to meet. Understand what is going on with your counterparts, be even more curious than normally.
  2. Hold bite-size sessions (2 hours maximum).
  3. Focus on a clear theme during these bites.
  4. Take a break after every session (no back to back please, it is a sign of bad time management)
  5. Use break-out rooms for variation: split up in smaller groups or pairs during the session. An online rule is to have a maximum of 4 in a room to keep full engagement.

  6. Use the advantage of being able to gather quickly online, have more continuous engagement. Certainly with high level subjects like team and strategy development. 
  7. Don’t forget a good sense of humor in between (even more important in these challenging times)!

We just finished the Ecom West Africa Board session online. We did an ample check-in and discussed all our special projects that are needed to create what we envision: a future with farmer first businesses. Yes, I would have liked to meet my fellow board members in real life again. Yes, it requires an extra effort to know what is going on. Yes, I had my own Dutch food again (bit boring). But no, I was not worn out, I was energized. We checked in with our worries, convened 4 times 2 hours to keep the energy high, varied working in the group and in pairs, laughed and checked out knowing we progressed a great deal. Plus: 5 minutes after the board meeting I was playing football with my boys!

Let us know how these tips helped to make your meetings more energetic and successful or if you have some golden tricks yourself.

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