Member Voices

Running a Virtual Meeting

By Luis Duque posted 03-20-2020 01:23 PM

  

With most of us now working from home, new challenges have emerged. Our company has encouraged more and more communication to keep everyone not only on track but also motivated. We have implemented virtual meetings daily for about 15 minutes to touch base on how we are doing and how projects are going. This has helped us stay on track and have that sense of companionship that is so scarce right now. Here are five things you can do to make the most of these meetings. 

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  1. Choose the Right Method: I would highly recommend a video conference over just a phone conference. That way you can all see each other and feel more connected.  
  2. Be Prepared: Having a clear goal is always key, more so when not everyone is at the meeting in person. Whenever possible, pass along an agenda and let everyone know what the meeting is about. Over communication during these times is key, because you need to make sure everyone is on the same page. Many people are working from home for the first time and may be lost and confused; it may take longer for them to process the information,  so be aware of that.
  3. Ask Questions: This is the time to touch base with your team. Present the information and then ask questions and listen. A lot of younger engineers may be a little more hesitant during virtual meetings, so give them the space to share what they are doing and how they are feeling. 
  4. Take Notes: This may seem obvious but I like to take notes and write how people are doing. By having this information you may be able to find patterns on how everyone is doing so you can reach out if something seems strange. Again, we all deal with stress differently, and want it or not, these are stressful times for all of us. 
  5. Don't Take It Too Seriously: It is harder to get a feel of what the tone of the other person means (especially if the call has no video). Make sure you are bonding with your team rather than simply giving directions. Make them feel like you are supporting them, as we all deal with stress differently.
Luis Duque is a member of the SEI Student Initiatives, SEI Timber Bridges, and SEI Business Practices Committees. Additionally, Luis is involved with the Denver ASCE YMG where he serves as the Networking chair for the 2019-2020 year. He has recently joined the SEI Global Activities Divison and will serve as the liaison between SEI in the US and the ASCE Colombia group to establish and SEI group there. At the ASCE national level, Luis helps in a variety of ways including mentoring, Career by Design topic moderator, and other miscellaneous activities. Also, he has been actively involved in EWB as he helps communities in Colorado, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico with limited resources overcome daily challenges. His goal is to, as he advances in his professional career, increase his involvement with EWB, ASCE, and SEI to promote and assist communities, not only in the US but around the globe with their engineering challenges and provide them with a brighter future. 

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