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  • Remote Meeting Masters

Etiquette and Protocol

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

Good meeting etiquette and protocol is essential for effective remote meetings, but only because it is essential for all meetings. You are now an etiquette and protocol droid, just like C3PO.

Etiquette and protocol:

  • Start and end on time to respect all participants. Do not spend time in the meeting to catch late attendees up. That just reinforces the behavior and lets everyone know it’s ok to come late. Record the meeting and late attendees can watch the recording after the meeting to catch up.

  • Use the chat or hand raise feature to ask questions. The meeting host or co-host has to monitor the chat or hand raise feature for this to work!

  • Put the agenda in the chat window. Open chat. Put the agenda in chat and have everyone open chat to review the agenda. Put links and other short bits of item in chat during the conference. Have a co-facilitator monitor chat for questions and comments.

  • Actively pass focus between speakers. We do not have the same physical cues someone is done speaking when we are working remotely. Pass focus when you are done speaking by saying the facilitator’s name or otherwise indicating you are done speaking.

  • If the remote meeting has both on-site and off-site attendees, have everyone attend from their computer remotely.

The last tip for remote meetings protocol is perhaps the most important.

  • Stay focused on the meeting. Create a team agreement to not check email, texts, or do other work during this meeting. Everyone can see that you are not paying attention. If you are continually responding to others’ requests to repeat the question, that is an indicator they are doing something else and not paying attention during the meeting. As the meeting facilitator, talk to distracted attendees one-on-one about this. Perhaps it's time to change the meeting, their role in the meeting, or whether they need to attend at all. The same goes for you, too. If the meeting is not worth your full attention then have that conversation and change the meeting, your role in the meeting, or stop attending.

Whether working locally or remotely, in advance of the meeting send an agenda. At the very least, people need to be informed of the purpose, the length, and what they should do to prepare. As you move to remote meetings, no meeting should be accepted without an accompanying statement of purpose, agenda, and directions about how you should prepare in advance. This is just good manners. Etiquette and Protocol.

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