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Mastering the art of effective online meetings: Improving efficiency and personal connections

Mastering the art of effective online meetings: Improving efficiency and personal connections

The ability to conduct effective online meetings is crucial for successful teamwork and organizational outcomes. However, it's easy to forget that behind every screen is a human being craving connection and interaction. In this blog post, we will explore the key elements of effective online meetings, not only by looking at effectiveness terms of results, processes or collaboration, but also with a strong emphasis on human interaction.

1. Start with a warm welcome

The first step to create room for human interaction in online meetings is to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Begin each meeting with a friendly greeting and a genuine interest in how everyone is doing. A few minutes of casual conversation can help everyone feel more comfortable and build rapport.

2. Set clear objectives

Effective meetings, whether in person or online, require a clear purpose. Start by outlining the meeting's objectives and agenda. This not only keeps everyone focused but also sets expectations for what needs to be accomplished. When participants understand the purpose, they are more likely to engage actively.

3. Maintain eye contact

One of the challenges of online meetings is the absence of physical presence of your colleagues. However, you can maintain a sense of connection by looking directly into your camera when speaking to create eye contact with the other participants. Encourage others to turn on their video and do the same, as it creates a more personal and engaging experience.

4. Encourage active participation

To foster human interaction, create opportunities for active participation. Encourage attendees to ask questions, share their thoughts, and provide input. Ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to participate by moderating discussions. Use tools like chat, polls, and breakout rooms to facilitate engagement and collaboration. The whiteboard is a great tool for brainstorming sessions, allowing to collect ideas in one place - free of evaluation.

5. Listen actively

Effective communication is a two-way street. Actively listen to what others are saying and show that you value their input. Avoid interrupting and allow everyone a chance to speak. Acknowledging and validating participants' contributions enhances the sense of being heard and valued.

6. Maintain an open and collaborative climate

Keep the focus of discussion on the issue at hand and not on people’s personalities or behaviors. Encourage the clash of ideas while discouraging the clash of personalities. Avoid squashing suggestions; instead, extract valuable points and involve team members in further developing them. To prevent misunderstandings, promote clarity by prompting participants to share facts or experiences that may influence their perspectives but may be unknown to others in the meeting.

7. Be mindful of time

Respect participants' time by adhering to the scheduled duration of the meeting. A well-organized meeting that starts and ends on time shows consideration for everyone's busy schedules. It also ensures that participants stay engaged throughout the meeting. In most meetings someone takes a long time to say very little. Make sure to keep the discussion to the point by indicating that there is no time to pursue a particular idea now, that there is no time for long speeches, that the group must get through this item and on to the next one.

8. Wrap up

This is a good moment to summarize the key takeaways from the meeting and to check the results of the meeting against the desired outcomes. Reflect whether the meeting objectives have been achieved or if some points will need to be carried into the next meeting. You can also use this as an opportunity to look back onto the meeting and evaluate how you are performing as a team, what you are doing well and where you can improve.

9. Recap and follow-up

After the meeting, provide a summary of main takeaways, action items, and deadlines. This not only reinforces what was discussed but also holds participants accountable. Following up on action items demonstrates your commitment to progress and collaboration.


Effective online meetings are not just about achieving objectives; they are also about human interaction and connection. By creating a welcoming environment, encouraging active participation, and being mindful of each participant's needs, you can turn online meetings into valuable opportunities for effective collaboration AND relationship building.