What’s up with your on-line meeting skills?

meetingsHow often do your on-line meetings start on time? Not often enough, I’ll bet.

Funny, there’s no traffic to fight, no coffee to get, no coats to hang, and still, very few people are able to manage getting to on on-line meeting prepared and on time.

Let’s be clear: this is not an IT problem; it’s a blind spot problem.

Here’s the basic stuff that most people are aware of, but often ignore:

  1. On-line meetings don’t always just appear on your screen at the right time (though with good tools like Citrix GoToMeeting great improvements have been made)
  2. You will occasionally need make an audio/video adjustment
  3. They require more preparation than we currently muster
  4. Since there is not travel involved, there is an added expectation of punctuality placed on on-line meetings

Now here is the stuff that you may or may not be aware of – but need to fix immediately because otherwise people will lose confidence in you and your level of excellence:

  1. No one wants to hear about your IT problems. If you want to blame IT or your laptop for being late, don’t waste time in a meeting doing it. We don’t care why you’re late.
  2. The darn video conferencing software needed an update? Yes, that occasionally happens, so why is that a big mystery to you each time? It just means that you need to be ready a few minutes before the meeting begins. You can get situated and once you’re in the meeting you can review notes, check email, do whatever you like.
  3. Your computer blew up? You lost power? These are novice excuses. You should always have at least one back-up device. That’s why we have PC’s, phones and tablets. If you have regular on-line meetings, it is simply irresponsible of you not to have at least one back-up device handy. (I usually have at least two – and have had occasions when I’ve needed three.)
  4. Don’t know how to navigate Dropbox or other social tools? Fix the problem by learning how to use the most common social tools: Dropbox, Trello, Skype, Whatsapp, etc.; whatever it takes to get your on-line skills to a professional level. These are not esoteric tools anymore, they are becoming industry standard.
  5. Do you feel like learning all this technology is actually getting in the way of your work? Re-think that mindset because the world is not slowing down for you.

If my advice rubs you the wrong way, talk to some of your more IT savvy colleagues. They will be glad to have the opportunity to reinforce what I’m saying – since you asked…finally.