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Schedule Online Meetings: The Art of Video Collaboration

Video collaboration is an important part of any business today, since it can bring together staff in a convenient and time effective manner. In addition to these basic perks, it’s also completely reinvented the way that the business world thinks about collaboration. Whereas once upon a time a team meeting was held in a conference room on-site, nowadays, it’s simple to hold a meeting anytime, anywhere, and on any device with the latest video conferencing technology. Whether your fellow team member is using a tablet, a computer, or is physically present at the meeting, it’s time to rethink your approach to effective collaborations in the wake of video conferencing technology.

Dos and Don’ts of Video Conferencing

There’s basic video conferencing etiquette that’s in place to make everyone’s meeting experience a little more enjoyable. An entire brainstorming session or meeting can be ruined if participants don’t heed basic rules, such as not talking over someone else, being late, or not testing equipment beforehand.

Inc. states that one of the major dos of video conferencing is to be punctual, and most importantly, to introduce yourself while first speaking. You should also take note of other participants' names, whether that means jotting them down or making sure you have them ahead of time. You should use a reliable provider like Blue Jeans for Online Meetings so you have peace of mind that technical problems won’t interrupt your meeting and detract from efficiency. Bluejeans is a provider that specializes in not only offering reliable service, but also offers lots of flexibility in terms of device compatibility, which is especially important for today’s ever increasingly mobile world.

The Basics of Working with a Virtual Team

When you’re using video conferencing technology to work with a entire team, there are more things to keep in mind than when you’re just meeting one on one. For example, the Teaching and Learning with Technology unit at Penn State recommends that virtual teams start by creating a contact directory, including e-mail addresses, instant messenger user names, and phone numbers. When you have more than a handful of colleagues you’re going to work with, even if they’re all on the same video conference, it can be hard to remember names and follow up. Make sure you keep contact information on hand, and always follow this protocol when you start working on a new project with multiple collaborators.

Avoid Unnecessary Questions

The flow of a meeting is important, and you have to plan your questions and concerns out accordingly. Don’t start the meeting with a jumble of unnecessary words. The Northwestern University Information Technology department strongly advises that while you're starting a video conference call, instead of interrupting the flow of dialogue to ask if everyone can hear you, simply start talking and keep going. Assume all the equipment is working properly and don’t waste time preempting problems by asking about it. If there's something awry, it will become obvious very quickly.

Establishing an approach of how to get meetings to flow as you go is very important to effective collaboration. If you’re running the meeting, you also want to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard, so avoiding unnecessary chit-chat and idle discussion will help. Once you streamline how a meeting with go once, it will help your team to fall in line and adopt a steady pace of discussion. This is what creates a truly collaborative, serious environment.

Effective Collaborative Techniques

According to the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the ability for collaborators to be vulnerable is essential, because although it can reveal issues with worthiness that impact the psyche dramatically, it's also where true creativity can be tapped. That means getting into the deeper parts of discussion and idea presentation. When your colleagues are willing to put themselves out there and share ideas that may not go over well, it’s important to recognize the value of putting oneself on the line. Vulnerability is where creativity originates, which is how collaborative efforts maintain a particular level of integrity. Always encourage your colleagues to share their thoughts, and don’t discourage ideas that might sound off the wall. When you’re using video conferencing to communicate, sometimes can get lost in translation if someone is hesitant to share their vision. Pay close attention to what everyone is saying, and make sure that all meeting participants get a chance to share their thoughts.

Collaboration is one of the most important parts of business due to the fact that creativity will set you apart from your competitors. Collaborating with a team is what yields the purest brand of creativity, and in turn, the best ideas and approaches to problems and projects. Using video conferencing can make these interactions more seamless and bring together team members at more opportune times. It allows you to schedule meetings in advance, communicate more effectively, and manage a team using cutting edge collaborative tools.