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Managing the Modern (Hybrid) Meeting with Karin Reed

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Meetings may be a necessary evil. Before 2020 we didn’t love them. During the pandemic, the meeting took on a new meaning. We connected over webcams using a variety of platforms. Meetings are changing once again as work is shifting to a hybrid model. Karin Reed joins Kevin to talk about hybrid meeting best practices. It’s important to fight proximity bias and create meeting policies for equity.

Key Points

  • In this episode, Karin shares the definition of a hybrid meeting and why they are worth the effort. 
  • She discusses fault lines. 
  • She talks about technology needs and the role of platforms.
  • She also shares keys to facilitating a hybrid meeting and how to be a good participant.

Meet Karin

  • Name: Karin Reed 
  • Her Story: Karin Reed is the author of three books: On-Camera Coach: Tools and Techniques for Business Professionals in a Video-Driven World, and two co-written with Dr. Joseph Allen, one of the foremost thought leaders on meeting science, Suddenly Virtual: Making Remote Meetings Work, and their latest Suddenly Hybrid: Managing the Modern Meeting. She is the CEO and Chief Confidence Creator of Speaker Dynamics, a corporate communications training firm, featured in Forbes. While speaking through a webcam might be new to much of the world, Karin has been teaching business professionals how to be effective on-camera communicators for nearly a decade, translating her experience as an Emmy-award-winning broadcast journalist, on-camera spokesperson, and actress into a methodology based upon the MVPs of On-Camera Success™.
  • Worth Mentioning: Karin and her team have been the chosen training partner for some of the world’s most recognized companies and most respected academic institutions in the world–from Nike to Lenovo, from Duke University to the Graduate School of Business at Stanford.

This episode is brought to you by...

Remarkable Masterclasses. Each masterclass is designed to help you become the remarkable leader and human you were born to be. Details on how to get on board for a specific skill or get discounts each month can be found on our website.

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00:00:05:10 - 00:00:28:15
Kevin
Are you used to meetings over webcam? I mean, have you been doing those and have some? Have you had some hybrid meetings? I'm betting both of those are true for you. Let me ask you this. How effective have they been? I mean, like how effective a meeting's been before that, too, I realize. But when you're thinking about meetings that are hybrid, using a webcam or other sorts of media, how effective have they been?

00:00:29:04 - 00:00:48:02
Kevin
And would you like those meetings to be more effective regardless of where people are located? Well, if so, you're in exactly the right place. Welcome to another live episode of the Remarkable Leadership podcast. If you are here live with us on one of the social media platforms, start by saying hello. Tell us where you're from. We'll find out all of that in just a second.

00:00:48:02 - 00:01:09:10
Kevin
And while you're here, I want you to imagine that you're joining us for a cup of coffee. Share your questions, your comments and your ideas. They'll make for a better conversation, eventually for a better podcast episode. If you're listening later, watching later on the podcast, you could have been here live. But you can't go back in time. But you could be here for future episodes and join into the conversation.

00:01:09:10 - 00:01:34:05
Kevin
I hope that you'll do that and you can get those future live episodes and interact with us and see them sooner. In this case by about four months. Sooner by joining our Facebook or LinkedIn groups where you can get all that information, just go to remarkable podcast dot com slash Facebook or remarkable podcast dot com slash LinkedIn. Speaking of LinkedIn, today's episode was brought to you by my LinkedIn Learning course leading virtual meetings.

00:01:34:11 - 00:01:55:21
Kevin
You can check it out, learn more and take the course from this link. Kevin Eikenberry dot com slash virtual meetings virtual meetings with a plural. Right. And so let me now bring in our guest and there she is. Ms.. Karen Reed has joined. Ms.. Karen Reed has joined us. Let me introduce her to you if I can get my script back up here.

00:01:56:16 - 00:01:57:20
Kevin
It went away.

00:01:57:20 - 00:01:58:10
Karin
Technology.

00:01:58:11 - 00:02:31:07
Kevin
There it is. Karen, to you, she is the CEO and chief conference creator of Speaker Dynamics, a corporate communicator training firm. While speaking through a webcam might be new to much of the world, she's been teaching business professionals how to be effective on camera. Excuse me, effective on camera communicators for nearly a decade, translating her experience as an Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist, an on camera spokesperson and actress into a methodology based on the MVP's of on camera success.

00:02:31:16 - 00:03:06:19
Kevin
Karen and her team have been the chosen training partner for some of the world's most recognized companies and most respected academic institutions. From Nike to Lenovo, from Duke University to the Graduate School of Business at Stanford, she's written three books on camera. Coach tools and techniques for Business Professionals in a video driven world and coauthored two with Dr. Joseph Allen, one of the foremost thought leaders on meeting science, the first of which suddenly virtual making remote meetings work, and their latest suddenly hybrid managing the modern meeting, which we're going to explore today.

00:03:06:19 - 00:03:29:05
Kevin
And she just was telling me about another book that's coming. And if she wants to talk about that, she can do that in a second. So so Karen, before we get started, let's see. We've got people from London and Florida and New Jersey and Phenix and South Africa.

00:03:29:11 - 00:03:39:12
Karin
And Rhode Island, which is where I spent a lot of time actually in my broadcast journalism career. So that was fun to see that both of my parents were born in the Ocean State.

00:03:39:22 - 00:04:01:19
Kevin
There you go. And we got Rhode Island and Cambridge. And this gentleman is from the House of Flavors. He knows where that is. He's from my hometown in Michigan. So that's one of the best. If you're ever in Ludington, Michigan, you need to go to the House of Flavors and have some really delicious ice cream. So, Danny, I don't know if you're having ice cream at the minute, but if you're not, why not?

00:04:01:21 - 00:04:21:11
Kevin
It's noon and we've got other people from Michigan as well. So, hey, let's let's get into this here and let's talk about sort of how you end up here, you know, broadcast journalism, all those things. And now you're writing books about hybrid meetings. So like, how do you feel about the process? People didn't know that was what was going to happen.

00:04:21:11 - 00:04:58:01
Karin
I did not know that was not the original plan. So just to give you a kind of short walk through my career path, I began in broadcast journalism work primarily for NBC. I was based in Rhode Island. They had an owned and operated station there. I love the job, interviewed luminaries like Muhammad Ali and won an Emmy along the way, which was great, but I left the business in order to apply my skills in the corporate world, and what I found is that I would be brought in as the professional on camera spokesperson, but more and more often they were bringing people in from the corner office or even the corner cubicle to appear on

00:04:58:01 - 00:05:17:19
Karin
camera alongside of me and expect them to perform at the same level of skill that often did not go well. So I recognized a business opportunity to teach business professionals how to be good on camera communicators. So as you mentioned, that was about a decade ago. And I primarily trained executive leadership teams, people who were de facto spokespeople.

00:05:18:03 - 00:05:34:16
Karin
But when COVID hit, suddenly everybody was communicating through a camera. And I went from training the E-Elt to training the entire enterprise. So it's been a really busy time for Speaker Dynamics. So what happened in that time, Kevin? And tell me if I'm drawing on too long, but I want to explain how I ended up in the meeting space.

00:05:35:10 - 00:05:58:07
Karin
I was working with a company that had a subject matter expert who was a meeting scientist, and that is Dr. Joe Allen. We got together to do a webinar for them on the future of meetings, and we postulated that in 5 to 10 years from now there would be many more virtual meetings with video at their core. So that happened the first week of March 2020.

00:05:58:22 - 00:05:59:23
Karin
So what happened.

00:06:00:00 - 00:06:02:11
Kevin
Then? Then the world went out, hit the fast forward button.

00:06:02:19 - 00:06:36:04
Karin
Second, the third week of March. Yeah, all the stuff we said five. To ten years would happen happened like overnight. So that began our collaboration and we at first were going off and drinking from the fire hose of our own clients, trying to help them to figure out how to navigate these virtual meetings and then realize, hey, how can we actually amplify our message? So we did so through the books and the virtual that you mentioned over the course of the year that was out more and more people were asking us about hybrid meetings, you know, as the transition started to take shape.

00:06:36:12 - 00:06:54:10
Karin
And I was on a call with our publisher with Joe, and I said, Joe, do we have anything new to write about hybrid meetings more than what we have in our suddenly virtual book. And he said, Karen, we can write a book about it. And the publisher said, What? Don't tease me. And so suddenly we were actually.

00:06:54:10 - 00:07:06:00
Karin
Writing a book about hybrid meetings as well. So in the fourth book is actually a global book. It's under The For Dummies series, so it's running effective meetings for Dummies. So that is in process right now.

00:07:06:16 - 00:07:32:22
Kevin
Perfect. So we're going to talk mostly about the hybrid book, the new book. It's right, it's over. If people are watching, they can see it over your shoulder or they can see my copy right here. So meetings are were already hard. Like I've been in this business for a long time and people have been complaining about meetings at all levels from senior leaders to front line employees forever, at least in my lifetime.

00:07:32:22 - 00:07:56:11
Kevin
And so the and and there's been more and more meetings as the years have gone on. And then, of course, with COVID and all of that changed at another level. So meetings were already hard, but then we moved to virtual and hybrid. So really what I want you to do, you know, I find that a lot of times we have words that we toss around so much that they almost start to lose their meaning.

00:07:56:11 - 00:08:05:19
Kevin
And that word hybrid is starting. That's starting to happen a little bit because it means a lot of different things. So when you say a hybrid meeting, what does it mean?

00:08:06:13 - 00:08:28:04
Karin
So that means basically you have people meeting in a variety of different ways in the same meeting itself. So for example, you'll have several people who are in the physical conference room, but you also could have several people who are joining via video showing up on their individual screens through their webcams. And then you could even have people who are just simply calling in on their phone and what that does.

00:08:28:04 - 00:08:41:04
Karin
Kevin, is it creates a very complex communication network because when we were fully face to face, that was one communication medium and one communication network. We were all sharing the same air that we were all breathing.

00:08:41:04 - 00:08:41:20
Kevin
Literally.

00:08:41:22 - 00:09:14:07
Karin
Yes, literally. Whenever we went fully virtual, that was one communication network in one communication medium, we were all on one screen and it was not as easy as face to face, but it was certainly easier than hybrid because now you have to get all of these different inputs and outputs to everybody else and manage that effectively. But the good news is, and what we share in our book, suddenly hybrid, is that there's a lot of promise shown by the early data that Dr. Allen and his team was able to gather.

00:09:14:13 - 00:09:34:11
Karin
And that's the fact that they are the most participated free of any kind of meeting. There is less bad meeting behavior that has been displayed and there seems to be less recovery time that's needed between these meetings. And, you know, the bottom line is they're the most inclusive meeting that you can have. And it's a reflection of what people are demanding.

00:09:34:11 - 00:09:43:10
Karin
They want flexibility in their work. The only way to have people be able to communicate whenever they're located all over the place is through a hybrid meeting.

00:09:44:07 - 00:09:56:11
Kevin
So as I was reading the book and I read that research about more participatory say say more about why what you mean by that. Exactly. And and why do you think that that is?

00:09:56:19 - 00:10:14:09
Karin
Well, the caveat that we will say to the whole thing is those who were getting good results from their hybrid meetings were doing the right things. And that is a really big, important distinction to make. Right. So if you go into a hybrid meeting and you don't have the proper what we call hardware, software and skill, where to support it, it's not going to be good.

00:10:14:15 - 00:10:33:09
Karin
So the hardware is, you know, do you have the right technology that allows there to be what we would call presence for all? So, you know, in the meeting room, do you have, you know, a good camera, a good audio system and large monitors so that people are reminded of the virtual people's presence on the screen? Their heads are large.

00:10:33:14 - 00:10:51:14
Karin
You know, the hardware at home to people who are joining remote have their cameras on is there audio good that that you can hear them clearly and effectively is their lighting good on their face so you can read their facial expressions, you know, so that's the hardware. The software is what kind of platform are you using? Is it one that's stable?

00:10:52:04 - 00:11:14:21
Karin
Is it one that allows people to connect easily? But the skill where one is, the one that a lot of people miss, which is are people trained to operate in this new environment? Are leaders told how to facilitate a discussion whenever half of the people are virtual and half the people are in the room? Because what you're you're always going to be fighting is proximity bias.

00:11:14:21 - 00:11:35:17
Karin
Say that you are leading a meeting from within the conference room. It is very natural and understandable that when you open up a conversation that you might turn to your right and say, Hey, Bob, what do you think? But really what we advocate is actually instead turning your attention to the screen first and saying, Hey, Jane, I know that you are remote.

00:11:35:17 - 00:11:57:05
Karin
Can you tell us a little bit about what you think about this topic? So those who were getting success with their hybrid meetings, who had put policies in place that allowed them to create meaning equity, what I mean by that is everybody might be meeting in a different sort of medium and way, but they all feel like they have an opportunity to be seen and heard.

00:11:57:05 - 00:11:59:08
Karin
And this is a really critical component.

00:12:00:08 - 00:12:23:19
Kevin
Well, that's certainly always been an issue as well. Right. Like there were awful lot of meetings before when everyone was in the same place or even today that might not be in the same place where we might not have that level of meeting equity. So I think your caveat is a super important one because until people have had the chance to learn some of the kinds of things that you and I and Dr. Allen are talking about, they're probably not going to get that level of participation.

00:12:23:19 - 00:12:46:01
Kevin
And so so I guess I want to ask this question. You know, you said it, and I want to go in a little bit more about the whys of this in a second. But I think everyone already would understand it, that meetings are already hard, virtual meetings added, more complexity, hybrid meetings add even more complexity. So why is it even worth it?

00:12:46:10 - 00:13:08:20
Karin
I think that's a great question. I mean, one of the things that we also found through the research is that, you know, people honestly just like to be in the presence of others. You know, we're social beings. And even if you can have some of the people be sharing the same space, there's a different level of energy that's generated by that and that can actually bleed in to the virtual people's experience as well.

00:13:08:20 - 00:13:35:19
Karin
As long as you invite them in, you know, you don't want to be in a situation where they feel like they're watching a glorified livestream. You want to constantly be coming up with ways to bring them into the conversation and into the meeting. So there are a couple of different things that you can do. I mentioned the one have remote speak first, so if you get to a topic of discussion, kick it off by allowing those who are on the screen to weigh in first rather than the people who are in the physical space.

00:13:35:19 - 00:13:54:13
Karin
What that does is it orients everybody to who's in the meeting in the first place so that they realize it's not just the people that they can reach out and touch, but also creating in-room allies. So, for example, some of the organizations that we looked at had a policy of creating a buddy system. So say that, Kevin, you're going to be in the physical conference room.

00:13:54:13 - 00:14:19:07
Karin
I'm going to be meeting virtually you. And I would be assigned to be buddies and you would be the one who would say, you know, if you get to a part of the conversation and hey, Karen has some unique experience with this, why don't we have her offer her opinion on this? So you're my ally in the meeting room space and the reason why this is important is it can be difficult to sometimes get a word in edgewise if you are joining remotely.

00:14:19:07 - 00:14:25:05
Karin
So you need people who are not just the leaders but the attendees as well to help you out.

00:14:26:00 - 00:14:47:19
Kevin
Yeah, even if even a skilled facilitator. Two things. One, they might not know that Karen has that expertize her experience, but also it's just that, you know, we often talk about the fact that, you know, if you're the leader of the meeting, so you're responsible for the content of the meeting and the outcomes of the meeting, and you're facilitating the meeting as well, which means you're responsible for the process of the meeting and you're a member of the team.

00:14:47:19 - 00:15:09:18
Kevin
So you have your own thoughts that you want to share. That's a lot of balls to juggle already. And so anything that we can do to help that person, which might do, yeah. Is a very valuable I think that, I think that that buddy system piece is really, really great. One of the things that that you talked about in the book that I certainly was aware of, but I didn't know the language that you used about it.

00:15:10:00 - 00:15:21:09
Kevin
And I think it's a really useful thing to talk about. It helps us get at this complexity issue is the idea of fault lines. So can you talk about the idea of fault lines in general and then specific to the hybrid meeting?

00:15:21:21 - 00:15:43:08
Karin
So what can fault lines are a way of describing what can happen to a meeting if it's hybrid, that it fractures based upon how people are joining. So a fault line could occur where those who are in person become their own meaning in and of themselves. And then those who are joining virtually, you know, there's a fault line there.

00:15:43:08 - 00:16:01:06
Karin
So all the people who are joining virtually have their own kind of meeting going on as well. It's almost like I would think about it as breakout rooms that we got used to in virtual, but instead it's changed, you know, based upon the medium that's being used. So those faultlines are very real. It's a very real and present danger.

00:16:01:17 - 00:16:29:03
Karin
So you need to be able as a facilitator to ensure that doesn't happen. So that does require a meeting leader to be more proactive in making sure that you don't have those side discussions occur where people who are joining remotely might feel marginalized. You also want to encourage nonverbal forms of participation. So know we are really dependent upon chat when we are fully virtual.

00:16:29:16 - 00:16:48:11
Karin
That is something that I would say continue to do in the hybrid world so that you continue to pull out that participation, that is, you know, equally valuable but not, you know, relying just upon verbal because it's easier for people to talk if they're in the conference room itself. It's harder for people to get a word in edgewise at the remote.

00:16:48:20 - 00:17:08:23
Karin
But as a meeting leader, that also means that you need to be checking that chat. And one of the comments I'm seeing here is it seems like a challenge for most leaders to facilitate in the way you describe. Yeah, it is. And so what I would suggest is something else you'll find in our books friendly hybrid, adopting new roles for the people who are actually in the meeting itself.

00:17:09:00 - 00:17:09:18
Karin
You know, one of the roles.

00:17:09:19 - 00:17:11:16
Kevin
I want to get there, can we get can we save that for a couple minutes?

00:17:12:22 - 00:17:13:13
Karin
Absolutely.

00:17:14:09 - 00:17:35:03
Kevin
Because I want to go back, you hinted at it and I think it's important. Yeah, certainly. But we've we've seen it as well. You know, when we sent everybody virtual, we sent them with their laptop, which probably had a webcam on it or we got them laptops that had webcams on or eventually we got a webcam. Right? Here's one now.

00:17:35:04 - 00:17:59:20
Kevin
It's not the one I'm using. Here's one. There's like three here, plus the fancy camera that I'm using. So, so we got people some technology in their remote space, but once we have some people back in the office, it's not just go into the conference room. So talk a little bit more about the technology needs in the physical space.

00:18:00:01 - 00:18:27:02
Karin
Okay. I'm going to actually share this in the form of a story because I taught two classes last week. I'm not going to say that the institutions, but they're both fantastic. But I was guest lecturing both of them in a hybrid classroom and I two very different experiences. So in the first one, I was actually guest lecturing from a virtual position and the hybrid classroom included people from I think seven different countries.

00:18:27:02 - 00:18:49:16
Karin
And it was all synchronous, so it was all live there. So I had a bunch of people who were in a classroom on this campus, but then I had a bunch of people who are also virtual as well. And the way it was managed and the way it was supported with the technology was fantastic. In the physical classroom, they had three different monitors.

00:18:49:16 - 00:19:20:10
Karin
One had me big. Just. Just me on camera. There was one that had my slide big, and then there was another monitor that had the faces of the people who are joining virtually as well as the chat stream. So all of that information was apparent and accessible not just to those who are remote, but those who are in the physical classroom. Then I also had the professor who was moderating the questions that were coming in, which was really, really helpful.

00:19:20:10 - 00:19:39:03
Karin
So, you know, I make practice of whenever I'm teaching to stop periodically, you know, and have there be dynamic discussion rather than me just like spouting information at them for 45 minutes. And she navigated those questions so well. And the questions came from the classroom and they also came from the virtual folks. So that was a great experience.

00:19:39:03 - 00:19:58:22
Karin
I'm like, this is a great hybrid experience right here. The next class that I taught, I was actually teaching from an in-person standpoint. The majority of people were in-person, but there were a couple of people who are hybrid, but their version or who were virtual rather, but their version of a hybrid classroom was basically a laptop that was open with the webcam on.

00:19:58:22 - 00:20:26:14
Karin
Right. And I was, you know, periodically muted periodically not but I they couldn't even see my slides. They could not, you know, it wasn't a screen sharing situation. They were just using the laptop as a way to have them physically see me and hear me. But it was not the same experience. So you have to really consider what technology allows people to feel like they are part of the meeting and not feel like they are just outsiders looking in.

00:20:27:20 - 00:20:49:12
Kevin
Yeah, I think that so very important because we're already and we were talking about this already that yes there are things we can do to facilitate hybrid means more effectively. We're going to get to some more of those in a minute. And yet there is a true real energy when we're physically together. And yes, there are things that we can do to extend that to to those who aren't physically with us.

00:20:49:20 - 00:21:03:17
Kevin
And yet we got to be really careful for them not to become second class citizens, so to speak. And what you just described in session in session two from unknown institution number two makes it really hard for that not to be true for people like me.

00:21:03:17 - 00:21:24:00
Karin
Yeah. And actually, Mary was asking, is it was it done in my teams or Zoom or WebEx? It was actually done on Zoom, but it was not the platform's fault. So it was it was a way of managing that whole experience, you know, having it set up in a way where you have that that meaning equity, that that you've heard us mention several times.

00:21:24:13 - 00:21:46:19
Kevin
So I want to go to Mary's point and comment and say something else there, and that is that, you know, are there inherent advantages that one platform has over the other? And I'm sure that your situation is much like ours. You're conversant and comfortable in more platforms than most people here have ever heard of. And and yet it's rarely really the platform now.

00:21:46:19 - 00:22:20:14
Kevin
It might be the technology on, say, the three big monitors is a really big advantage. Making sure you've got making sure that you've got microphones so that the people who are virtual can really hear the people in the room and not the two people closest to the microphone. Yeah, right. And in in and while you were delivering a a training session or learning session or whatever you want to call it, different than a truly interactive meeting, there's a whole level of what do we want to do in terms of people at distance being able to see the people in the room and not just a presenter like you or I?

00:22:20:19 - 00:22:28:19
Kevin
So like there's a whole bunch of stuff to think about, but it's rarely just the platform. It's really about us using the platforms in the ways that they're capable of being used.

00:22:29:04 - 00:23:01:13
Karin
Definitely. I mean, I'm certainly platform agnostic and there are a lot of different factors that go into deciding what platform to use. I remember in the early days of our fully virtual lives, it was like the Wild West. I mean, just people were grabbing whatever platform they could find and would use that. But now, you know, we've been doing this for a while and most organizations have chosen one that they prefer, which which sometimes I'll see two being used, maybe one is used for training purposes and the other one is used for everything else.

00:23:02:03 - 00:23:22:19
Karin
So I would say you're right that it's not the platform that is the barrier, it's everything else around it that really needs to be honed in on right now. And you would think, hey, we've had so much time to try to figure out what a hybrid meeting room would look like. Yes, but it is still a book that's being written.

00:23:22:19 - 00:23:39:15
Karin
People are trying to figure out what works, what does not. The audio system is the early difficulty that I'm hearing about most often, because people just use the microphone that's, you know, that we've always used in our video enabled conference room. But that does not it didn't.

00:23:39:15 - 00:23:40:14
Kevin
Work then either.

00:23:40:14 - 00:24:02:15
Karin
So I wasn't allow everybody to be heard regardless of where they're seated. And that is such a huge part of it. And just what I've been talking about for a long time is people are more tolerant of poor video than they are of poor audio. And it makes sense because you can have a meeting without video, you can't have a meeting without audio.

00:24:03:09 - 00:24:16:08
Karin
So if you're going to invest, if there are people who are in i.t who have some sort of influence on this, invest in your audio system because that is really a key factor in the success of a meeting.

00:24:17:04 - 00:24:46:06
Kevin
I would agree. So you mentioned a few things already about facilitating hybrid meetings. And your first point? I would echo an echo in echo and echo and echo, which I guess I just did, which is the go to, you know, bring in the folks who aren't in the room first. I mean, I think that's absolutely critical. But what other keys would you have for us as leaders slash facilitators when we are doing a hybrid meeting?

00:24:46:06 - 00:24:51:13
Kevin
What else will help us create the level of participation and success that we want?

00:24:52:02 - 00:25:13:18
Karin
Well, you almost have to always be thinking about the remote experience, because here's the challenge. If you are joining something, something virtually, you are wanting to take the default position of passive observer. It's how we been conditioned to engage with screens. We watch TV, we watch a movie, but now we want to be active participants through a screen.

00:25:13:18 - 00:25:23:21
Karin
And that can be really, really difficult to get people off that default position. So if you are facilitating a meeting, you want to make people do stuff. As much as possible.

00:25:24:05 - 00:25:49:17
Karin
And the do can take many different forms. It can be engaging in deep discussion. It can be, you know, taking a poll, it can be, you know, putting comments in chat, whatever it is you want to get them to not have the opportunity to check out. And if you have big expanses of time where they're not having to be actively engaged in something they will check out.

00:25:50:02 - 00:25:51:22
Karin
And in the additional challenge.

00:25:51:23 - 00:25:54:03
Kevin
They'll check out and check out their phone is what.

00:25:54:20 - 00:26:12:04
Karin
I was going to say. If you're sitting in front of a computer and you're on a meeting, it's so easy to open another tab and do something else aside from from attending the meeting. And so you have that sort of attending a meeting situation. So what I would say is that's the first thing, make people do stuff throughout.

00:26:12:18 - 00:26:39:03
Karin
What that also means is rethink how you are using your time. We really lean into pre work, that asynchronous work that can be done prior to going into the meeting that allows you to start at a higher level of understanding as you get into the meeting itself because you don't want to have a situation where is information sharing one way for 30 minutes before you even start having a conversation?

00:26:39:04 - 00:26:55:12
Karin
Because it's really difficult for the remote folks to be able to stay tuned into that. So if you assign pre work and allow people to do that, that think time in advance, when you get into the actual meaning, you can jump right into step three, which is, okay, what are we going to do about what we just learned about?

00:26:55:12 - 00:27:17:09
Karin
And that makes a whole different environment for any sort of meaning. It makes it automatically more engaging and interesting. So it's really key to do that. But I think also you have to be a proactive facilitator. You can't just let there be a free for all, because if you do that, guess is going to be heard more than anyone else, those who are in the physical conference room.

00:27:17:23 - 00:27:35:08
Karin
So what we suggest is try to come up with a turn taking policy that allows you to kind of control the flow of conversations. So that can be okay, folks, if you're in the meeting room itself, you please raise your hand and I'll call on you. If you are virtual, raise your emoji hand or put in chat that you something to add.

00:27:35:23 - 00:27:44:17
Karin
And it might feel like you are scenting the conversation. But no, actually what you're doing is making it more productive and more equal.

00:27:45:11 - 00:28:06:03
Kevin
Yeah, for sure. So it means and again, a lot of people, especially now that we're two years in to this, Karen, we have what I call the good old days syndrome, which we somehow think that it was so great before. Well, no meetings. Pardon my French, sir. Very good. And so that's us. And so and all we've done now is added complexity.

00:28:06:03 - 00:28:19:07
Kevin
So we've got to be even more intentional. I think the good news is that because we recognize the intent of the added complexity and I'm getting a little bit of noise feedback now, so I apologize for that if.

00:28:20:14 - 00:28:23:01
Karin
I don't hear it just to. Go.

00:28:23:05 - 00:28:50:17
Kevin
Okay, I don't know, I've never had it happen here before. But even though I think we recognize this complexity now and so we're probably a little more open to thinking about this than we were before, which is really, really good. Yeah. One of the things that you bring up in the book that I haven't heard people talking about in meetings, science meeting conversations as much in recent years, but we should have been is ground rules.

00:28:50:22 - 00:29:05:15
Kevin
So talk about ground rules a little bit and then I want to land the plane and talk a little bit about just everybody as a participant and not just as leaders. And this is taking us in that direction. So talk about ground rules. A little bit, maybe specifically as it relates to hybrid?

00:29:05:22 - 00:29:35:18
Karin
Yeah, absolutely. So I think one of the things that we need to really pound into people's brains is if you're doing a hybrid meeting, you can't just go into it without having some real intention. And part of having intention is creating ground rules for how you're going to engage in the meeting itself. So one of the things that we have in our books and hybrid is a team meeting agreement outline that allows you to consider all the different factors that would contribute to making a meeting successful.

00:29:36:09 - 00:29:57:08
Karin
And that's everything from, you know, who is going to be on that invite list. You can say, okay, only people who have not just a vested interest but need to have input into whatever is being discussed or decision that's being made need to be there in a hybrid meeting. It quickly becomes unwieldy. If you have more people, then you need to be there.

00:29:57:08 - 00:30:15:15
Karin
The days of having spectators really should be gone forever because one of the great things about a virtual meeting platform is that you can record it, you can send them the meeting and let them take it in on their own time. So, you know, having a really carefully curated invite list is one of the things that we talk about in that team meeting agreement.

00:30:16:03 - 00:30:45:18
Karin
But having ground rules related to participation is really critical. You know, I mentioned that turn taking policy, come up with what is going to work in your organization, in your team based upon your culture, because, you know, there might be some who would feel uncomfortable, you know, using emojis, but others who embrace that. So, you know, come up with what works based upon your organization and other things that that you want to think about is just like, what are the rules about pre-work?

00:30:45:18 - 00:31:03:07
Karin
How far in advance do you assign it? You know, how are you going to get the information out after the meeting? How can you make it accessible for all so that you don't have a situation where those who are in person have greater access to information and opportunity than those who are remote.

00:31:04:07 - 00:31:24:23
Kevin
There's enough real and perceived differences already. We don't need to add. We don't need to add on to those differences. Right. So, so any other thoughts about excuse me, about or any other advice, I guess is a better way to say it, that you would have tips for meeting participants, not just for the leader? I know this is.

00:31:24:23 - 00:31:26:03
Karin
The membership.

00:31:26:03 - 00:31:32:00
Kevin
Podcast, but like what about all of us as leaders are also participants in lots of meetings that aren't ours for.

00:31:32:00 - 00:31:52:12
Karin
Sure. And I'm glad you mentioned this, Kevin, because this is something that, you know, as somebody who's been a video evangelist for a long time, I really harp on. But there's a reason for it. You have to make sure that you attend to your personal production value, which means how you show up. If you're going to be a remote attendee, you need to have, for example, a really strong Internet connection.

00:31:52:23 - 00:32:11:10
Karin
You cannot impact and influence a discussion or a decision. If you have your cell freezing up or you have audio drops like that is not going to make you an effective participant. You also want to make sure that people can read your facial expressions as easily as possible. So you want to make sure that your face is well lit.

00:32:11:23 - 00:32:42:21
Karin
And it's not a matter of vanity. It's a matter of showing respect for your conversation partners. You want them to be able to receive your message as clearly as possible. And if you're sitting there in shadow, that's kind of disrespectful and it's also a reflection of your personal brand and your corporate brand. So make sure that you're framed correctly, that you have your camera at eye level, that you don't have crazy stuff in the background, that will cause people to pull focus from you and be focusing on your bobblehead doll collection.

00:32:42:21 - 00:32:45:01
Karin
Whatever it is, you have to make sure.

00:32:45:01 - 00:32:47:02
Kevin
That you know. How did you know?

00:32:47:02 - 00:32:48:16
Karin
That's why you have a blurred background. Right?

00:32:49:06 - 00:33:11:10
Kevin
Exactly. So so. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. We don't need anyone in witness protection. We're assuming they're not actually in witness protection at your meeting, so we need to get the lighting figured out. Camera's on. Rebecca just came out and said, camera's on shows, respect that really comes back to. I'll just make a comment to Rebecca's point there about cameras on a big, big believer in that.

00:33:11:10 - 00:33:30:10
Kevin
We've been preaching that since long before the pandemic. There are times you don't have to have them on. And yet whatever that whatever that looks like and most of the time, that's probably. Yes, that's back to the ground rules on our team. You're going to be on camera unless you're having bandwidth problems or there's some other reason why you can't be.

00:33:30:23 - 00:33:38:19
Kevin
So that's just a straight up ground rule slash expectation of the big boss, so to speak. So yeah.

00:33:39:06 - 00:33:49:17
Karin
For sure. And in a hybrid cabin, it's even worse if you are showing up remote and you don't have your camera on, you will disappear, you know. So if maybe that's your intention. Maybe you don't want to be.

00:33:49:20 - 00:34:11:12
Kevin
And that's a different issue that we don't have time to unpack today. Wayne made a comment. I want to make you make a quick comment about it. He made a nice long comment coming in from LinkedIn. It says To engage a meeting participant, you should also think about effective meeting design, period. I'm paraphrasing now. We got to have we got to have prep, we got to have agendas that are effective.

00:34:11:12 - 00:34:29:21
Kevin
We get desired outcomes 100% and all that. And he's right. So some of what Karen and I have been talking about, Karen mostly is just good, solid meeting stuff. That's I hate to say this, but now more than ever, it's true. It's truer now than it's ever been before. Yeah, I'm tired of sort of saying that that line.

00:34:29:21 - 00:34:46:11
Kevin
But it's true in this particular case. So I think, Wayne, your point is an excellent one. Is there anything, Karen, that we left out, anything else that you really think we ought to share before we go into the homestretch?

00:34:46:15 - 00:35:07:22
Karin
I mean, I think the thing I would underscore more than anything is just the really the need to train and to be not just going into this thinking, oh, well, we'll just put the laptop on the desk and open up a zoom meeting and think, Oh, that's an effective hybrid meeting. It's not going to work. You have to have the hardware, the skill aware and the software to support it.

00:35:08:05 - 00:35:34:09
Karin
So allow your team to be trained up on this new way of communicating. And that means training them on the technology because there's a lot of tools out there which are really fantastic, but they will basically collect virtual dust if you don't teach them how to use it. So, you know, get your i.t department involved and have them do a quick primer on how to use whatever tools that you are adopting.

00:35:34:09 - 00:35:57:07
Karin
It makes a big, big difference and then actually train up your leaders on how to conduct a meeting like this, but also let your team leaders train their team so that they they know how to engage in this new environment because this is kind of uncharted territory. Yes, we've had hybrid meetings for a long time, but that was the case where you'd be in a meeting.

00:35:57:07 - 00:36:23:04
Karin
Mostly everybody's there and maybe somebody would dial in and they'd be promptly forgotten. But now, I mean, you really need to lean in to this hybrid meeting methodology because it's not going away. Flexibility is a high priority for the workforce. And if you are going to be hybrid, not just, you know, in name only, you need to have policies, hybrid meetings to actually have it be effective.

00:36:24:19 - 00:36:39:20
Kevin
Laura Lori makes a comment that says we're the 10% that care sort of. I always feel like when we're doing these, you know, this is I'm preaching to the choir. We're having this conversation with people that really do care. And she says that she hopes that all of us can advocate for making meetings more effective. Here's what I would tell you.

00:36:39:20 - 00:36:55:05
Kevin
Don't look to the rest of your organization and they need to figure this out. You need to figure this out. When you figure this out as a leader and make your meetings better, you're changing the organization for the better. And it won't be long before people are going to say, Hmm, what is Lori doing differently? Her meetings are working and mine aren't.

00:36:55:09 - 00:37:13:00
Kevin
It all starts with us 100%. And so don't wait and don't wish. And while you're waiting for the book to arrive suddenly hybrid, just start doing some of the stuff we've talked about. So I've got a couple of final things for us to talk about, Karen, before we finish. And one is this What do you do for fun?

00:37:13:10 - 00:37:17:02
Kevin
Forget like you don't you're not on camera all day long. I'm pretty confident of that.

00:37:17:07 - 00:37:37:00
Karin
Well, writing another book and there's not a whole lot of time. In between, but actually I do play tennis pretty actively, so that's something I almost forced myself to do because I did have a time where I was not doing a lot of self care. I recognized that that was bad. So I am pretty avid tennis player.

00:37:38:06 - 00:37:50:23
Kevin
Awesome. And the only thing you knew I was going to ask you, what are you reading these days now, everybody, we don't have time for to unpack the long version of the story I wrote. She's this goal oriented person. She told me what the book is. So lay it on.

00:37:51:11 - 00:38:03:23
Karin
I'm reading Lord Jim because it's on some list of the 100 best books ever written and I was really upset to see that I had not read them all. So I'm actually waiting my way through this list.

00:38:04:11 - 00:38:12:11
Karin
I think it's number 85, and I started with number one rather than starting at 100. And my son is like, Why did you do that? Your books are getting worse as you go.

00:38:13:11 - 00:38:32:16
Kevin
And I'll just leave it at this. From what she told me before we started, everybody she wouldn't put it on her top 100 list or leave it there. But but here's the thing. You know, one of the reasons I've asked this question, Karen, from everybody that's really been on the show, is that I've always wanted to learn from smart people about what they read and why they read it.

00:38:32:23 - 00:38:52:15
Kevin
And so even if you don't, you know, others, there might be someone if you're here and you love that book, if you're here live and you love that book, you know, give us the give us the point counterpoint real quick. But Lord Jim is the book and the book that you want us all to read is suddenly hybrid managing the Modern Meeting.

00:38:52:15 - 00:38:57:00
Kevin
So, Karen, where can people learn more about the book and your work? Where do you want to point people before?

00:38:57:00 - 00:39:24:20
Karin
The best place to go to Kevin is our Web site, which is Speaker Dynamics dot com. It's on your screen right now. And there you'll find everything from the books that I've written as well as, you know, our training options, kind of our philosophy as well as Speaker Dynamics University, which is our online training platform that allows you to, you know, take upon yourself to improve in how you manage these virtual meetings and hybrid meetings.

00:39:25:21 - 00:39:46:05
Kevin
Perfect. Everybody, that's I've got one last question is the question that I ask all of you every week. I'm done asking Karen questions. I'll thank her in a second. But the question for all of you is this Now what what action are you going to take as a result? Maybe it's as simple as saying we need to set some ground rules for our hybrid meetings.

00:39:46:05 - 00:40:10:07
Kevin
Maybe it's taking a look at building a checklist of things. Maybe it's thinking about some different roles. Maybe it's just remembering to lean into those folks who are remote and not in the room first, whatever it might be. And there's 50 other things that you might have written down. None of that none of this time that you spent will have made of any any value to you or to your organization or your team unless you take some action.

00:40:10:07 - 00:40:13:23
Kevin
We hope that you'll do that. Karen, thank you so much for being here. It was such a pleasure to have you.

00:40:14:07 - 00:40:19:20
Karin
Kevin Thank you so much. It was a great conversation. I really appreciate the opportunity and everybody.

00:40:20:07 - 00:40:40:00
Kevin
If you love this, that means you want to come back. Write every week. Another episode of the Remarkable Leadership podcast. Hope you'll join us then and you can always go backwards. Plenty of other great stuff in the past as well. Have a great week, everybody. Make it a remarkable day.


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