Outlaws, Heroes & Rogues of Online Meetings
COVID-19 has many of us working out of our comfort zones, especially during meetings. Outlaws and Heroes have emerged in our new remote reality. We’ve documented them for you and your teams.
Friday, April 24, 2020
If you’re like most people right now, you’re still becoming familiar with remote meetings. No matter the maturity of the team, certain standards of etiquette should always be considered.
Since the Territory team has always been a distributed crew, the “new normal” has been our normal for years. We’ve pooled our collective experience and created a lineup of outlaws, disruptors, and villains; a collection of heroes and champions to seek-out; and a group of fringe-folk rogues to keep an eye on as you fine-tune your remote gatherings.
Watch out for these villains of remote meetings that you and your cohorts should squash on first sight:
Hit & Run
Comes late, leaves early, creates chaos wherever they go.
Chaos can hurt both productivity and creativity in a team setting. Do your best to be on time and help you team by limiting distraction.
No camera. No consideration. Who knows what’s happening over there?
No camera is akin to not participating. Turn it on. Nobody can tell you didn’t shower today.
Feels the need to shout at their cohorts in lieu of wearing a headset or mic.
Nobody likes being yelled at, and listening to echo-ey voices can be exhausting, right? Consider the experience you’re delivering to your team. Select your tone, volume, equipment, and surroundings—your team will thank you!
Great at arguing the last detail of a point to the dismay of their cohorts. Often come in pairs.
When you hear a conversation retread ground, suggest to either “disagree and commit” or to have a conversation following the meeting.
a.k.a. Mona Lisa
You can feel that stone-cold creeper stare in your spine.
We’re not always able to actively participate in remote meetings, but allowing yourself a show of emotion is a good thing! And don’t forget to blink.
More in love with their own video image than yours.
Stay in tune with your cohorts by reading their expressions and body language.
Pondering the universe
Keep pace with your cohorts. Got an idea? Jot it down and keep tuned-in!
a.k.a. The Multitasker
“Fear of missing out” villain. Incessantly checking all other channels.
Cut distractions to provide the best possible value and respect to your cohorts.
Has so many exciting ideas and opinions to share.
Unless you’re presenting, make sure not to monopolize the talk track of your meeting. Take pauses. Ask for feedback.
Ill-concerned with camera location
Try to get on an even level with your camera so people don’t have to interact with your navel.
Backlit and incognito
Find a good spot to sit that provides adequate (and flattering) lighting to your front-side.
The Party Pooper
Keeping the team abreast of every movement against their will
We all make mistakes, but don’t forget your home is your new professional setting. Take real breaks when you need them. Your team will understand.
Clickety-click-clacking all meeting long.
Listen: note takers are critical members of every team but your cohorts shouldn’t have to hear every keystroke.
Every good team functions on a magical balance of coordinated skill. Here are some of the most useful roles you can create in your team:
Making & sharing some bold fashion choices with their team.
Sharing elements of your day—from clothes, to thoughts and experiences—helps keep work personal, and shouldn’t it be?
Expert at using Zoom backgrounds to keep everything light and playful.
While sometimes distracting, changing up the “room” you’re in can help set the tone in your meetings. Keep it light whenever possible, ‘yall.
The mindful plan-maker.
The Agenderizer ensures you stick to the plan. Somebody’s got to wrangle this circus!
Seizing opportunities to keep things light and personal.
When you don’t have a watercooler to chat around, nurturing your human connections can take a little effort and a delicate hand.
Making sure we’re all getting it done.
Captain Kanban keeps the engines running by capturing tasks and responsibilities.
Their pen is mightier than the mouse.
By drawing, the Visualizer forms abstract concepts into pictures. There’s a doodler among you—beknight them into their destiny.
Knows the ins and outs of remote-working technology and is forever saving the day for their team.
From getting everyone online to fixing audio problems to providing tips with your MURAL, they make your virtual meetings run as smooth as butter.
A critical member of large meetings (5 or more) helps to announce attendees as they arrive and depart.
Always making sure everyone has a voice and is clearly heard
Brings everyone along by highlighting individual thoughts and opinions and noting group alignment.
Often heard saying, “I like that! I agree because…”
a.k.a. Silent & Deadly
Archnemesis: The Typist
Providing the ideal listening experience for their teammates.
Knows how to quickly toggle the microphone mute feature in your meeting spaces. When in doubt, it’s always better to be caught talking while muted than to be creating unwanted noise.
We are all human. We’re also displaced and finding our new norms. This said, there are courtesies and kindnesses to consider providing to your team. Help keep each other accountable for creating productive and professional meetings by keeping an eye on rogue behaviors.
Quiet. Too quiet, because they’re back-channeling criticism and gossip instead of adding value.
Back-channeling can be fun and effective if used to solve a need in the meeting, but keep it prof, folks.
Pets are their power.
Remote working can be isolating and pets offer many passive companionships.
Giving teammates a chance to say “awww” during a meeting can keep things light.
Face isn’t in frame. Doesn’t care.
You may not be interested in seeing your cohorts, but make sure you’re giving a good view of your gorgeous mug.
Coping, if just barely.
Obviously, this is a new normal for all of us, especially kids. Try to be kind and loving—we’re all in this together.
Always hungry. Always.
Try to minimize eating on camera, especially when speaking. What, were you raised in a barn?
If you must eat, don’t forget to go on mute.
The Grand Tourist
Yes, we’re stuck at home, but you can still get kicked out of your meeting space.
Try to avoid giving your meeting mates the roller-coaster ride of changing locations. Turn off your video when you have to move. Your team can survive without seeing your winning smile for twenty seconds.
Those lovable Luddites seem to stumble into your meeting citing a slew of technical challenges.
Help tech-challenged team members by offering assistance prior to your meeting. If you know you are going to struggle with technology, reach out to a Neo (see above) to help you prepare pre-meeting.
Meetings are now conducted from the waist up, leaving the rest in question.
You can’t beat the commute time, but working from home requires new skills and wardrobe habits. Put on a fresh pair of pants, even if they’re PJs.
Meeting is on a different monitor than their camera
Use your extra screens, but make sure to check in with cohorts by facing your camera as often as possible.
Download the Outlaws, Heroes & Rogues Posters
There are best practices
Good processes build habits. Beliefs and behaviors define culture. We use a list to keep ourselves in check. It contains equipment recommendations, best practices for hosting meetings, and many other tips.