Now's the time to remind your team what makes a successful video meeting

Many teams and employees are in their eighth consecutive week of leading or participating in meetings exclusively via videoconference — and there are hundreds of analyses and how-to articles to show for it. 

This includes how to look better in video meetings, how to combat "Zoom fatigue," why zoning out on Zoom is harmful, how to come up with an excuse to end a video call, how to style Zoom-friendly hair in a snap and how to look professional from the waist up. 

Videoconferencing has become a way of life over the last several weeks for most people in white-collar jobs, nearly as ordinary as electricity or Wi-Fi. People had to adapt quickly to a medium they may not have been familiar with, and guidance and tips were warranted. All of those aforementioned articles come from a place of trying to help other people.

Yet at the same time, the amount of attention paid to the medium can make the stakes feel extraordinarily high. Meetings previously evaluated for their content and interpersonal dynamics can suddenly seem more dependent on optics, based on how much literature is devoted to how we should appear on Zoom. 

The best leaders keep their teams focused on the right things. The eight-week mark may be a great time to remind remote teams what's expected of them for productive, professional and effective video meetings. Without a refresher on those expectations, it'd be no wonder if employees fall down the Zoom how-to rabbit hole and begin to feel as though connecting to a videoconference is more demanding than it should be. 

Here are a few essential considerations for leaders to further supplement or revise as they see fit: 

1. Not every standing meeting requires a videoconference. Ideally, use video for discussions or when visual aids are key to the success of the meeting. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned phone call. 

2. Mute by default. Unmute only when it's time to speak. 

3. If leading the meeting, stick to an agenda and ask others to be responsible for certain components of it. This approach is likely consistent with what leaders would do in person; don't overthink it. 

4. Ensure your video doesn't show anything you wouldn't want colleagues to see. It's okay if your home workspace doesn't resemble a TV studio, but you can spare us the dirty laundry, messy kitchen or partner in pajamas.

5. When it comes to a dress code, simple is best. A few keywords that may help: realistic, respectful, neat and casual. Encourage employees to use common sense. Presentation still matters.

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