In-person work doesn’t always hold the advantages it’s often believed to…

As the hybrid era unfolds, the benefits of in-person work are increasingly misunderstood. To get the most out of your time together as a team, you need to be aware of the common myths about in-person work.

Myth #1: People learn more effectively in person. Because it rarely affords opportunities for meaningful practice and feedback, in-person learning is often less impactful than well-designed virtual learning. Make an effort to regularly design these types of experiences for your team.

Myth #2: In-person events help create (or strengthen) culture. Culture is built upon what your team experiences all day, every day at work—not what they experience when they step away from the normal routine for a workshop, keynote, or holiday party. Don’t depend on these outlier events; commit to building a healthy culture in the day-to-day, hybrid flow of things.

Myth #3: In-person gatherings are necessary to give people a break from screens. Healthy screen habits shouldn’t depend on where your employees are working from. They can—and should—be developed remotely, too. Encourage both your remote and in-office employees to unplug routinely.

Myth #4: Networking and human connection can only happen in person. False! People have long been able to develop meaningful relationships by writing letters and emails and speaking on the phone. Add video calls to that list.

Stop Dominating the Conversation in Your Meetings

When you’re leading a meeting, it’s tempting to hold the floor. After all, you called everyone together, right? But no one wants to go to a meeting where one person talks the whole time, and you’re unlikely to get what you need from the group if you’re delivering a monologue. 

To keep yourself in check, try three tactics. 

First, make notes and stick to them. Give yourself a time limit, and condense what you have to say into that amount of time. 

Second, send the agenda around in advance. Tell people whose opinions you respect that you are hoping they will speak up, and then call on them during the meeting. 

Third, use a round-robin format, where you go around the room and everyone has an opportunity to talk. Some people will pass, but at least they were given the chance — and didn’t have to interrupt you to get a word in.

Decide Your Meeting Agenda Before…

A good agenda is the first step to any successful meeting. If you want to make the best use of everyone’s time, turn your bullet points into questions that drive to the outcomes you’re looking for.

For example, instead of a general topic like “Budget Problems,” try a specific question like, “How will we reduce our spending by $100,000 by the end of the fiscal year”? Or replace an item like “Strategic Planning” with a challenge like, “What is the key market threat we need to be aware of, how could it affect us, and what can we do to anticipate?” Preparing these questions before the meeting will make it easier to determine who should be there and how much time you’ll really need.

Ultimately, a questions-based approach to your agenda can bring focus, engagement, and better performance to your meetings. And if you can’t think of questions to ask, maybe you don’t need that meeting after all!