How to Encourage Participants to Speak Up in Virtual Meetings
“ The future of work consists of learning a living ’’ — Marshall McLuhan
With more employees working in hybrid or remote workplaces, technology that allows people to communicate with co-workers located all over the world is critical. However, in order to ensure that this new virtual conferencing format is used to its full potential, leaders must consider the impact on individual employees if their businesses are to continue running smoothly.
Anoma tech shares strategies for encouraging more employees to speak up in virtual meetings,
- Consider the Communication Preferences of Individuals:
Managers should remember that not everyone is as outspoken online as they are in person. We must keep in mind that different people communicate differently, so we must encourage them to speak up by asking questions. By asking the right questions, you can encourage participation. Create a safe space for people to express themselves.
2. Establish a Collaborative Environment:
It can be difficult to feel personally connected in a virtual meeting, which is why it is critical to foster a collaborative environment. The solution is straightforward: solicit opinions, listen to responses, and validate participation. You don’t have to agree with everything said, but people are more likely to speak up if they know their opinions are being heard and valued.
3. Make meetings more interactive for attendees:
In-person meetings provide the connection and energy that we all miss. Sharing a question with you and answering it first is an engaging way to get others to speak up during virtual meetings. Inform your group that you will be inviting others to share their responses. Make it enjoyable and creative! Share coffee or raffle prizes, or simply invite attendees to wear their favorite hats.
4. Include Discussion Time:
Make time for open discussion. There will be more open dialogue and more people eager to share their perspectives. If you notice that no one has spoken up, you can start the conversation by asking for everyone’s thoughts on the current topic. Thanking each individual for their viewpoint will also go a long way. They must understand that we value what they bring to the table.
“ Aim high, work hard, and love your family ’’ — Deborah Roberts
5. Ensure that everyone is prepared ahead of time:
While being mindful of communication styles and preferences is important, the fact is that virtual meetings have become more common due to necessity. I’ve discovered that the best way to level the playing field among clients and client teams is to ensure advanced planning. Use asynchronous memos, videos, and reference materials to create a well-prepared and engaged virtual participant.
6. Make an attempt to recreate in-person meetings:
Managers can encourage more people to speak up in meetings by simulating real-life situations as much as possible. Make sure everyone’s camera is turned on, no one is on mute, and you leave room for collaborative discussions where ideas can flow freely. If you notice a colleague is shy, try to bring them into the conversation by asking a question.
“ Technology is best when it brings people together ’’ — Matt Mullenweg
7. Meetings should be kept small:
We try to limit virtual meetings to smaller groups because the more intimate setting encourages people to speak up. Allow employees to know ahead of time what topics will be covered so they can prepare questions and answers and feel more confident when all eyes are on them. Allowing time for each team member to speak up may also promote a more well-rounded discussion.