With almost all of us working remotely from home, team meetings have become a scarcity. And if we have them, then they are entirely virtual, of course.
And to state that at first, team meetings still remain important. So please stick to, at least, weekly team meetings, and be it only for the reason to briefly see each other. To keep the motivation up and to strengthen the feeling of belonging within your teams, you can make your virtual meetings creative, interactive and out-of-the-box.
If you would like to avoid the classic „How is everyone?“ or „What are you working on right now?“ introduction rounds, here are some simple kick-starts you can easily use in every team meeting (or any other virtual meeting, even with people you do not know very well).
Kick-Start 1: Use Your Surroundings
The home office time gives us something very valuable in team context. Something, which we normally do not have. And that is a sneak peak into the living room, kitchen or office within our private space. And we can use that to foster our mutual understanding of each other and to get to know each other even better.
Task: All team members shall pick one private item lying close to them (be it in the living room, kitchen etc.). As a introduction, everyone holds the item into the camera and briefly shares a short story of how he/she is connected to the item.
Kick-Start 2: Changing Perspectives
Using video in virtual meetings makes us see an extract of that person. A frame, not the entire picture. Make everyone switch the camera mode vice versa. So we do not see our faces, but the surroundings. Now, either everyone briefly shares a story of what we see, what item, piece of furniture etc., has a special meaning for us. Or we ask each other specific questions about what we see.
Kick-Start 3: Attention Boost
A quick task to learn to focus and to be attentive. Work in pairs of two. If familiar with virtual group building, you can use tools (f.e. Zoom Breakout-Sessions), but you can also simply just build pairs within a larger group. That pair has the task of looking at each other and their surroundings carefully. Then, for 30 seconds, both cameras are to be switched off and everyone changes one thing, either with themselves (clothes, hair…) or with their surroundings and background. Now, camera on again. What has changed? To foster creative thinking, do three rounds!
Have fun trying these out and making virtual team meetings a bit more creative and playful – these super simple and short tasks can be a first start.