Six Tactics For More Effective Online One-On-One Meetings

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In the modern workplace, online one-on-one meetings have become the standard for communication. As a leader, you depend on them. Since the Covid-19 lockdown, they’ve been essential to maintaining staff engagement, performance development and keeping your team aligned.

According to Zoom, over 300 million users relied on these meetings for working through the pandemic. But endless months on Zoom calls have created virtual meeting fatigue. What was once a great way to get your team on the same page now just feels time-consuming and tiring — maybe even like a waste of time.  

If your meetings are crushing your happiness and passion, you aren’t doing them right! Here are six tips to bring the effectiveness back to your meetings.

Be prepared.

Mindset really is everything. Your meeting is just a discussion between you and the other party. Expectations are important but don’t overthink or overcomplicate things.

Go into your meeting with a clear purpose. Know what you need to discuss and where you’re going with the conversation. Try to have prewritten discussion points with you to keep the conversation on topic and moving forward. But keep in mind that this is a two-person conversation. You’ll want to leave room for some flexibility; there are bound to be topics that pop up or come to mind on either end of this conversation.


Make meetings collaborative.

Every meeting needs an agenda. Instead of just starting with what you want to cover, try planning the agenda collaboratively. This will help keep meetings on topic and make them more effective.

There are a lot of options available for creating a shared document. All you have to do is choose one and create the agenda there, collaboratively. This ensures that both of you can come fully prepared with clear expectations of topics to be discussed.

Collaboration is a great way to make meetings more purposeful for both of you. Plus, a collaborative agenda will also help keep the other person more engaged in the discussion.

Add a personal touch.

Until just recently, it was nearly impossible for people to connect in person. Meetings have been virtual for nearly two years now and have become a business trend. With so many companies working remotely, too often, hosts forget the other side of this conversation is a person, and people are more than just their production. Employment isn’t just paying for services. Adding a “personal touch” to your meetings shows that you haven’t forgotten that and will keep people engaged and present during your meetings.

Strive for quality over quantity.

Consistent meetings can help keep your team connected and productive. But is there such a thing as too much consistency with one-on-one meetings?

Research has shown that switching between tasks is draining and can waste up to 40% of your productive time. Many have reported that it takes up to 25 minutes to regain their concentration. Not to mention that time spent on calls can be very draining, further hindering productivity.

To avoid that, be aware of how your call length and frequency affect your team. Follow up with team members, and don’t be afraid to ask for their feedback. 

Write things down.

This applies to before, during and after the meeting. Before you even get on the call, write an outline of what will be covered. This will help you stay on point and keep the discussion focused.

Take notes and encourage the other person to as well. Write down anything off-topic that comes up so you can address it later. No one remembers every word of a call, and you may need to refer to something later.

Wrap up with a summary.

By the end of the meeting, you’ve likely covered a lot of ground. Even if the other person has taken good notes, it’s not easy to recall everything. Ending each meeting with a summary of the meeting’s main points and action items helps keep everyone on the same page.

Meetings are crucial to your company’s productivity and communication. Without them, no one would have been able to work through the pandemic. But they need to be engaging to be effective. When planning meetings, consider your team. Try not to overdo it on length and frequency. Otherwise, you could be creating a bottleneck in the workload and killing your profit.

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