No one enjoys a disorganized conference call or video meeting. Here are ways to keep things focused and moving forward.
Have an agenda. Our favorite agenda format has objectives, action items, owners, and times listed. Contact Anna Conrad of you would like a meeting agenda template, Anna@ILSInt.com.
If the group is silent: If you hear crickets, you may not know whether people are listening intently or just confused. If this happens, pause and ask, “Are you all with me so far?” or “What questions do you have?”
If someone goes off on a tangent: Recapture everyone’s attention by mentioning the detour and need to get back to the agenda. “Let’s table this point for a moment. I want to return to the comment earlier about the timeline issue we’re facing. Does anyone have anything else to discuss about that?”
If one person keeps repeating an idea or argument: Acknowledge their feelings, and challenge them to create a solution. “You seem concerned about the decision. What do you think we haven’t addressed?”
Call it! When you catch someone multitasking, refocus their attention by calling on them directly: “Madison, what are your thoughts on this?”