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Foster Inclusion in Virtual Meetings

So many of us have Zoom fatigue. At the beginning, everyone had cameras on and participated eagerly. As remote working wore on, the pendulum swung in the other direction with a majority of cameras off and heavy multi-tasking.

As businesses continue to work remote in some fashion (and in some cases, permanently), virtual meetings will be a key method for teams to meet and bond. To ensure interaction and inclusion for all team members, you need to leverage technology for multiple personality and engagement styles to participate. Here are some tips:

  • Polling – Use a poll to quickly assess your team’s thoughts. For sensitive or divisive topics, you can make the polls anonymous so team members can express their opinions openly without worrying about ramifications.
  • Hand-raise – The key to utilizing the hand-raise function is to give participants time to find the function and use it. You can encourage people to use it when they want to make a comment, rather than trying to interrupt verbally, and when you want get consensus or feedback on a topic.
  • Breakout rooms – When you have team members who are reticent to share areas in a large group, breakout groups of 3-5 are a great way to increase their comfort for sharing. If you want to ensure that all voices are heard, breakout rooms are a great avenue for that. They may even have more confidence to speak up in the larger group after they have had a chance to “test” their ideas in the small group.

As a leader and meeting facilitator, it is important to encourage involvement and inclusion from all of your team members. Let technology be your friend in making that happen during virtual meetings.

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