In today’s world, virtual and hybrid meetings have become increasingly popular due to the pandemic and other factors. However, building connections during virtual and hybrid meetings can be a challenge. According to a recent survey, 56% of respondents reported feeling disconnected from their colleagues while working remotely, and 42% reported feeling less motivated due to remote work. In this article, we will explore why it is difficult to build connections in virtual and hybrid meetings, and provide ten concrete tips to help leaders and meeting participants create a more meaningful meeting with a human connection.
Why It Is Difficult to Build Connections in Virtual and Hybrid Meetings? Human behaviour plays a crucial role in building connections in virtual and hybrid meetings. When people communicate in person, they use all their senses, such as body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and touch, to create connections. However, in virtual and hybrid meetings, people rely primarily on visual and auditory cues, which can be limited and may not accurately convey emotions and sentiments. In addition, people tend to feel more isolated and distracted when they are not physically present in a meeting, which can make it difficult to focus on building connections.
Ten Tips for Building Connection in Virtual and Hybrid Meetings:
- Start with a personal introduction – Ask each participant to introduce themselves and share a personal story or interest. This will help to create a relaxed atmosphere and encourage participants to get to know each other.
- Use icebreakers – Start the meeting with an icebreaker activity that encourages participants to share something about themselves or their interests. This will help to break the ice and create a positive atmosphere.
- Use video conferencing – Use video conferencing whenever possible to allow participants to see each other’s facial expressions and body language. This will help to create a more human connection.
- Encourage active participation – Encourage participants to actively participate in the meeting by asking questions, giving feedback, and sharing their thoughts and ideas. This will help to create a more engaging meeting and build connections.
- Use chat tools – Use chat tools during the meeting to allow participants to interact with each other and share their thoughts and ideas. This will help to create a more collaborative environment.
- Share personal stories – Encourage participants to share personal stories related to the topic of the meeting. This will help to create a more personal and meaningful connection.
- Use breakout rooms – Use breakout rooms to allow participants to have smaller group discussions and share their thoughts and ideas with each other. This will help to create a more intimate connection.
- Provide opportunities for feedback – Provide opportunities for feedback at the end of the meeting to allow participants to share their thoughts and ideas about the meeting. This will help to create a more constructive connection.
- Use humour – Use humour during the meeting to create a more relaxed and positive atmosphere. This will help to build connections and make the meeting more enjoyable.
- Follow up – Follow up with participants after the meeting to thank them for their participation and share any follow-up actions or feedback. This will help to create a more meaningful connection and build trust.
Building connections in virtual and hybrid meetings can be a challenge, but with these ten tips, leaders and meeting participants can create a more meaningful meeting with a human connection. By starting with a personal introduction, using icebreakers, encouraging active participation, using chat tools, sharing personal stories, using breakout rooms, providing opportunities for feedback, using humour, and following up, participants can create a more engaging and collaborative meeting.