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Suddenly Hybrid? Manage the Modern Meeting with Karin Reed (Ep. #44)

The BetterManager Team
Building Better Managers Podcast Episode 44 - Karin Reed

Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #44: Suddenly Hybrid? New Productivity & Engagement Strategies with Karin Reed

The global workforce is changing rapidly - many companies are choosing to stay remote, while others have adopted the hybrid model because they see the benefits and many team members like the combination of some remote and some in-person days.

In a previous episode (#28 here) Karin Reed spoke on Suddenly Virtual: Making Remote Meetings Work about how to make remote meetings both engaging and productive.

Her latest book, Suddenly Hybrid, is full of new examples of how to work with this new wave of hybrid-remote workplaces, which is most likely here to stay.

In this episode:

Meet Karin:

  • Karin is a confidence creator. Her mission is to empower her clients, whether they come from the c-suite or the sales force, to speak with ease to any audience on any platform – in person, on camera or through virtual communication tools.
  • Her methodology is based on more than 20+ years of experience as an award-winning news anchor, on-camera spokesperson and commercial actress.
  • Karin has been a trusted trainer and consultant for companies ranging from early-stage start-up to Fortune 100. Her warm and encouraging approach have made even the most reluctant public speakers into compelling communicators at companies like Lenovo, SAS Institute and Teva Pharmaceuticals. She’s also developed a strong following in academia – leading workshops at elite institutions such as Stanford, Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill.
  • Her first book, On-Camera Coach: Tools and Techniques for Business Professionals in a Video-Driven World, was a #1 Hot New Release in Business Communications on Amazon in 2017.

Why Hybrid Meetings Are Here To Stay

  • There's been such a change in how people want to work and really are demanding to work. Hybrid work means that you can basically trying to meet the needs of your workforce, you have to figure out a way to get people to be able to collaborate to meet to gather, regardless of where they are geographically.
  • Hybrid meetings allow you to do that because you have some people who are co-located (they're in the same room together), while others are joining in from their webcams from wherever they happen to be at that given time. That can be a great opportunity to make the meeting as inclusive as possible because you're allowing them to meet where they are, where they want to be.

The Keys To Better Hybrid Meetings

  • In order to have an effective hybrid meeting, you have to have the right technology in place.
  • The logistics are also important. For example, if the majority of people will be in the conference room, you have to create what we call "presence for all" - that means everybody can be clearly seen and heard.
  • And that goes both ways. Those who are in the conference room need to have adequate audio fidelity. The audio system you set up must allow everyone to be heard no matter where they are seated. Remote team members need to have good equipment that will allow them to be heard adequately and to be seen crisply. You want your image to be as as crisp as possible so people can read your facial expressions because our body language is so important.
  • There are also techniques that a leader of a meeting can do to help with that. If you are leading the meeting from in the room, we suggest that you be a narrator for the remote attendees of the body language that is observed. Virtual attendees probably can't see the eye rolls and other cues in the meeting room. As a meeting leader, I would say, "Hey, Joe, it looks like you're rolling out your eyes about that, you know, you obviously are not completely on board, tell me a little bit more." That allows the people who are joining virtually to feel like they are there and can see what's what's really going on. Those nonverbals are more difficult to read if you're joining virtually, so it's up to the meeting leader to be aware of that, and then to raise the collective awareness of all of what the body language is saying.
  • The leader also is responsible to make everybody aware of who is in the meeting - the people in the physical space and at the virtual table as well.
  • Then be sure to encourage their participation. If you can be an advocate to hear from those who are virtual, that will be a way of ensuring a more effective hybrid meeting. "We haven't heard from Wendy in a while. Wendy, can you weigh in on this, I'd like to hear your opinion, I know that you have a lot of experience in this space." That can be very helpful. You can do it in in a an informal way, or  actually make it more formal.
  • Assigning "room buddies" for those who are joining virtually is a really interesting concept - to have someone in the meeting that is an advocate for the virtual participants.
  • You want to avoid ending up just having the conversation dominated by those who are in the actual physical room,

Trends

  • The trends indicate that there will be a hybrid approach to work. Primarily for safety reasons, people want to ensure that they maintain their good health and the health of others.
  • As the pandemic starts to wane, there is also going to be an evaluation: some folks who are desperate to get back into the brick and mortar office, and for other folks, remote work has really been great.
  • Virtual meetings are not going to go away, but best practices are definitely taking shape.
  • You actually have to get them to all engage together, so that's going to require strong facilitation on the part of the leader.

Downloads & Resources

Follow Karin on LinkedIn here.

Check out Speaker Dynamics here.

Subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform!

Check out our blog articles on Leadership here.

About Karin Reed

Karin is a confidence creator. Her mission is to empower her clients, whether they come from the c-suite or the sales force, to speak with ease to any audience on any platform – in person, on camera or through virtual communication tools.

Her methodology is based on more than 20+ years of experience as an award-winning news anchor, on-camera spokesperson and commercial actress.

Karin has been a trusted trainer and consultant for companies ranging from early-stage start-up to Fortune 100. Her warm and encouraging approach have made even the most reluctant public speakers into compelling communicators at companies like Lenovo, SAS Institute and Teva Pharmaceuticals. She’s also developed a strong following in academia – leading workshops at elite institutions such as Stanford, Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Her first book, On-Camera Coach: Tools and Techniques for Business Professionals in a Video-Driven World, was a #1 Hot New Release in Business Communications on Amazon in 2017.

Episode Transcript
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