How to run effective 1:1 meetings over Skype (or other online meeting programmes)

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Nowadays, Skype meetings are common in mostly all work environments. Especially during the current health crisis remote working has forced people to use alternative communication tools. But why should you use Skype or other video chat platforms rather than just picking up the phone? 

Sometimes people can feel a little bit isolated working remotely for a long period of time. By using Skype you have the chance to see the other person by video chat. That highlights the personal aspect and shows the appreciation towards the other one.

But keep in mind: Don’t force your employee to use the video chat. You can be a good role model, turn on the camera and suggest your opposite to do the same, but some people don’t feel confident in front of a camera. So, respect their decision and privacy.

Below are our tips to help you run effective one on one Skype meetings with your employees.

First things first: A solid preparation

If you prepare for a Skype meeting or video chat, it’s crucial not only to focus on the content and structure of the meeting, but also to plan the right set-up ahead: 

  • Avoid any distractions during the meeting: Prepare a silent room, where e.g. no children are playing in the background or a television is turned on.
  • Dress accordingly: Even if you will hold the online meeting at home, wear suitable clothes as it is still a professional meeting. Tidy up your background as well as no one wants to see a dirty home.
  • Develop a structure: Ideally prepare a presentation and share your screen during the Skype meeting as you would do in a F2F meeting to visualise a structure. Plan time for questions and discussion during your meeting to keep the conversation interactive.
  • Prepare a back-up plan: Everyone knows technical issues – think about alternative tools where you can continue your meeting, e.g. through facetime, Microsoft Teams, Whatsapp… the possibilities are endless thanks to digitalisation. Check in advance with your meeting partner, if this person has already one of these options installed.

Let the meeting begin

As in a personal live meeting you want to be on time. No one likes to be postponed or wait without any information, especially if you are the only one who is waiting. If you really can’t make it on time, let your meeting partner know in advance. 

Create the right atmosphere during the Skype meeting. You want to give the feeling like being in a F2F conversation. Start with some small talk, e.g. ask about the last weekend or talk about your delicious breakfast you had this morning. This will help as icebreaker. But on the other side, try to stay focused and don’t forget the time. In individual meetings you could tend to talk too long about private things.

Do a Follow-up

Summarize the results and send it to your meeting partner after the meeting. This way everyone knows what was exactly discussed, what the next steps are and what both of you need to do next. Have you agreed to a follow-up meeting during the Skype session? Set up the follow-up invite directly to block the calendar and get commitment from your meeting partner.

You are also planning to have an online team meeting? Read more about our 5 tips how to run effective online team meetings.

Robert Walters offer expert hiring advice to our clients looking to attract and retain top professionals whilst accommodating the needs and demands of the modern workforce. Contact us today at south.africa@robertwalters.com for your latest recruitment needs. 

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