Being an excellent teammate sometimes means having challenging, uncomfortable conversations with people you respect, and work closely with. You never want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but at the same time you don’t want a person’s professional trajectory negatively impacted by their inability to properly execute certain tasks.
In many ways, stepping up and saying what needs to be said in a reasonable, yet informed manner, can go a long way toward helping an individual improve a skill many companies now find integral: video call hosting.
Here is what you can do to ensure one of your colleagues does not continue putting forth brutal virtual meeting performances:
Break the News Gently and Respectfully
Before getting into the meat of the matter, qualify what you are about to say by acknowledging that you, too, are not a total video conferencing guru. Admit that you also have a lot to learn about video conferencing solutions for business, and that you are just here to offer some friendly assistance. Follow this by framing your advice as suggestions, while noting you won’t be insulted if none of them are put into action.
Beginning the conversation like this should result in your teammate being more receptive to what you are about to tell them. Going at them hard-and-heavy, without cushioning the blow, may result in a really defensive response.
Point Out What’s Obvious to You
Now that you have braced your teammate for impact, specifically point out what you are seeing and offer insight on how certain strategies and approaches could be improved.
Don’t say “You’re doing this wrong.” Instead, go with something like, “Your video calls can sometimes run a little long. Try creating an agenda to keep each live video chat online to a tight 30-minute time frame.”
While it may be important to keep conversations regarding proper online meeting platform usage respectful in tone, you can’t sugar coat everything. For the sake of your teammate’s career path and your company’s performance, it is your duty to point out everything that should be adjusted for future virtual meetings.
Offer More Detailed Expertise
If your teammate is receptive to the points being made about their online staff meeting performance, be prepared to offer more detailed expertise.
For instance, once you have informed your teammate that their video feed gets choppy during virtual meetings, they will want to know how to correct that. You will reply by finding out more about where they are conducting video calls from, and whether or not that spot has quality Internet connectivity.
This discussion will help your teammate become more aware of, perhaps, their need for a new device (i.e., computer, smartphone, tablet), or a higher-strength modem and wireless router. It could also just better influence their decision on where they are hosting online team meetings from.
Be Supportive All the Way Through
Once you have gone through the video call advice you set out to communicate, do not put your feet up and relax quite yet. Moving forward, it’s very likely your teammate will want to regularly run ideas by you, as well as have you evaluate their next few video conferencing sessions.
What you should also do, however, is be a positive and compassionate ally. Even if their post-advice video meetings don’t immediately hit all the right notes, continually offer encouragement and kind words. Having such a welcoming support system will help your teammate get their video call game where it needs to be.
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