With more teams working from home, it is timely to revisit your video meeting etiquette and agree as a team on your video meeting norms. Are you going to use the first five minutes of a meeting for a round table check in? Are you going to encourage the use of the one on one chat functionality? Will anyone be called to share their screen at anytime? Under what conditions may you need to go beyond the scheduled end time? You may want to assess your own recent video meeting behaviour to see if you are consistently role modeling your team’s best video meeting norms.
Here are 10 Video Meeting Etiquette Tips that your team can review as a foundation for your norms.
- Prepare for the call and get physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually grounded immediately prior to dialing in. Asking your team members to share and commit to a preparation practice encourages peer learning. Making a commitment to others builds accountability to follow through with preparation. When stress is running high, preparing is an exceptionally helpful practice.
- Make sure your microphone and technology is working. Turn off your phone if you are using your computer or tablet, turn off reminders, close other screens with pop-ups. Have background materials available on another screen if need be – you don’t want to be searching for that document while you are on a call.
- Sit close to the screen. Your face should fill most of it.
- Get the lighting right – stay away from sitting with your back to bright light.
- If you’re using a laptop, or phone to keep it in one position – at eye level – others don’t want to look up your nose.
- Get on line a few minutes early and as others join make welcoming comments, provide context and engage others, “Welcome (name) we are chatting about (topic: e.g. weather, our dogs, the ___-news story) while we wait for others to join. How are you finding (topic)…?”
- In a meeting of more than 2 people or if there is background noise, mute yourself when you’re not talking, and be prepared to quickly unmute.
- When you’re on mute on a video call, use non-verbals – nod your head, give the thumbs up, show your applause, focus on the screen, stay seated – basically show your engagement.
- Primarily look at the camera when you are talking, and periodically glance at other participants briefly to gauge their reactions. This improves the feeling of connection. Tempting as it may be, only glance at yourself on the screen if you are concerned you may have moved out of the screen, then immediately focus back on the camera.
- Don’t eat during the meeting unless this is a planned social meal gathering in which case everyone can bring their food.
For best team functionality, document your team’s video conference norms where everyone can access them. Discuss how you will hold one another accountable for living these norms. Consider reviewing weekly or monthly at first and then quarterly to refine the norms or celebrate your team’s effectiveness. A team coach can help your team maximize their video meeting effectiveness.