Communicating Well In Online Meetings

online meetings

Most business are trying to adjust to new and unprecedented changes in the midst of this global pandemic. Your company has probably had to let people start working from home to the extent that the nature of your business allows it, which means in-person communication can be challenging. This is why many businesses are using conferencing applications for online meetings, with Zoom being the most popular and widely used.

Zoom is a great substitute for face-to-face meetings, but it can be awkward. It’s not easy to look into a computer camera and make small talk while you wait for everyone to join the meeting. If you are leading the meeting, it can be uncomfortable to lead a discussion in this way. For the time being, communicating well in online meetings could be important for your career and your business.

To avoid dead air and the awkward silence that comes when no one knows what to say, plan for your meetings ahead of time. Have a basic outline of how you want the conversation to go, and it should be much easier to avoid uncomfortable moments. Another thing that can help your online meetings is to allow time for questions and concerns. Give your team the opportunity to speak freely about challenges they are facing right now.

If you dread online meetings, chances are that your team feels the same. Be respectful of their time, especially if they are at home with young children right now. This means being conscious of when and how often you schedule your meetings. The challenges you are facing are probably the same things your team is struggling with at home. Zoom meetings are a tool to implement wisely, not a bandage for the challenges your company is facing.

It’s going to take time and patience to make it through this difficult time. If you’ll be engaging in online meetings for awhile, think about ways you can communicate well during these sessions without wasting time. Zoom is a fantastic way to keep things moving forward, but only if you are using it in the right way.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Cultivating Strong Communication


One of the most important skills you can develop for your professional career is strong communication skills. This is critical for anyone who wants to advance in his or her career, take on a leadership role, or start a business. Effective communication is good for business, no matter what it is you want to do or what type of job you have.

To start improving how you communicate, start with how you listen. Communicating well is less about what you say and more about how you interact with others. Listen first, then speak. Don’t go into a conversation to simply have your say. When someone else is speaking, make sure you’re really connecting with what the other person is saying.

When you need to communicate something important, choose your time and location carefully. Choose a location that is comfortable and quiet enough where everyone can truly hear each other. If the subject matter is sensitive, make sure you’re having your conversation in private. Simply considering the comfort level of the other party and considering the environment can greatly improve communication.

Conversations can be emotional, even in professional settings. It’s crucial that you remain with your professional sensibilities intact, even in the midst of a difficult conversation with another person. Remain respectful, and be mindful of how your words can affect the other person – and you – well into the future. Try to avoid statements that could be misconstrued and potentially come back to haunt you.

When speaking, say what you mean. Don’t mislead, but don’t be rude, either. It’s important to learn how to walk the line between being hurtful and never saying what needs to be said. Communication skills are important, and you can start the process of improving in this area simply by being mindful of others and how well you listen.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Good Leadship In Difficult Circumstances


Leadership is challenging and difficult, but it can seem especially challenging right now in the midst of a pandemic and economic hardship. If you are in a position where you are a leader, you’ve probably had to make significant adjustments over the last month simply to keep things going and remain in communication with your team. Figuring out the logistics is only one part of the equation to answering what is required of you right now and how can you lead well during these times.

Leading well involves much more than just making plans and telling people what to do. You’re also in charge of certain intangible things, such as keeping morale up, inspiring others, challenging team members and making decisions regarding the future. This can be even more difficult when you’re all working from a distance. Some things that may be useful for your team right now include:

• Provide as much stability as possible for your team. Your team needs continuity and consistency, whether that means hosting web meetings at the same time each week or assigning tasks at a regular rate.
• Show compassion to your team members. This is a difficult time for everyone. Keep in mind that many people are also trying to homeschool their kids while working.
• Do as much as you can to keep things on a schedule. This will provide assurance for everyone, and it will help your team figure out their own individual work-from-home schedules.

It’s going to be a difficult few months as the country tries to move forward from this pandemic. Your challenges as a leader could grow, change and even become more complicated. Keep your focus on being there for your team and providing the support they need. That’s the key to good leadership and success in even the most difficult of circumstances.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Leaders Are Tested During Times Of Crisis


The pandemic that has swept the globe, disrupted markets, closed schools and sent people hiding in their homes has led to difficulty for everyone. No one has been exempt from the effects of the virus, and now many people are working from home, schooling their kids at home and trying to run businesses from their homes. If you are a leader in any capacity, this crisis has probably tested you beyond anything you’ve experienced before.

Leadership is difficult even in easy times, but it’s especially challenging during times of crisis. This is a time that will probably make or break you as a leader, and one thing you’ll have to do to survive is be innovative. Flexibility, willingness to think outside the box and a positive perspective can help you get through these next few months. If there is ever a time to rely on innovation, it’s now.

Innovation during a time of crisis doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create new products or services to wow your customer base. It may simply mean that you need to figure our creative ways to continue what you are already doing. Through various platforms such as Zoom and Skype, you may have to alter how you communicate with your clients and co-workers. Think outside the box on ways you can over communicate, as this will offer both your clients and your team assurance and a sense of connection.

As a leader, you have to establish the habits that you want your team members to have. This can be especially difficult for those who cannot work together in person. If you’re working from home, set a schedule for yourself and your team. Have team calls at set times, respond to emails promptly and keep on top of things. You have to work hard if you want others to work hard during a crisis– even if you are working from home. This is where innovative thinking will come into play. How can you lead, encourage and inspire from afar?

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC

Mental Health In A Scary World

Like many individuals, you may be stuck at home working remotely while doing your best to socially distance yourself from others. It’s not easy to be isolated and in your home for days on end, especially if you are used to working with others and being in an office environment. Over time, you may find that this necessary period of quarantine is taking a toll on your mental health.

Mental health is closely tied to your physical health. This is why it is especially important not to allow yourself to become a full-fledged couch potato during this time. You may be limited in what you can do and where you can go, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay active. Even in areas that are under a strict lockdown, it is still possible to exercise outdoors. Get fresh air whenever you can – it’s amazing what a walk outside and some time in the sun can do for your outlook.

You can also look out for your mental health by keeping your mind engaged as much as possible. Explore some new hobbies or pick up a book to read. Find a way to keep your mind sharp and active. Too much idle time will make it seem as if the days are dragging by, and this can make a time of isolation and separation even more difficult.

One thing that may help is to set a schedule for yourself. Block off increments of time and assign tasks to each hour. It’s okay to leave free time in there, but staying on a set schedule during the week can keep the days from running together. Staying engaged and positive during the next few weeks will take a dedicated effort and a commitment to your emotional well-being and mental health.

By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC