On-line meetings – how would you rate them?

So, on-line meetings – how would you rate them between:

To be tolerated………………………………….………..Really worthwhile?

With the ever-increasing use of smartphones, Covid-19 and the opportunities for online networking, it’s easy to think we’re shifting away from in-person meetings.

On the other hand, Steve Jobs, inventor of the iPhone, knew a long time ago that face-to-face meetings would never go out of style. “There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions.”

We are all experiencing meetings with Zoom, FaceTime, Teams and others and essentially we are doing well. The cost savings are clear and for those tekkies who just love anything digital it’s wonderful.

For others it’s an imposition.  They find it not conducive to real relationships and it’s overwhelming. Having a screen full of tiny faces that you can’t really see is not the same as eye to eye contact. There’s no touch, you can’t see a grin, a grimace and any body language is wiped out.

When our self isolation is over, doubtless many will still want to have as many on line meetings as possible. We will be practised. The destruction of the environment by flying business people here there and everywhere is a concern and must be limited. There are many simple meetings and briefings held that do not require a physical presence and, for sure, they should be on line. It’s easier than having to make an effort to be present in mind, body and spirit.  They will say it saves money – which of course it does.  It also saves attending those meetings where little gets done or achieved. That’s just down to bad meeting management, ignorance or bad habits – nothing to do with benefits of electronics. The case for on line meetings is clear.

So is the case for face to face meetings. The ones that make us get up and go somewhere. The ones that make us welcome visitors and create a relationship. The ones that involve a cup of coffee, chat, networking, social networking and success.

These meetings need to be run well and if the current necessity for on line achieves one thing I hope it will be an awareness that if a face to face meeting is to happen, it needs to be well run, well planned and it must achieve its objectives.

And that is going to be the big difference. Meetings will have to be better run, cost effective and achieve their objectives – every time.  The days of boring meetings sitting around a table gawping at PowerPoint or creating endless lists on flip charts are over. We can do better than that!

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