“Making Remote Meetings Successful: Leveraging the Surprising Science of Meetings” was the focus of the most recent VCU School of Business Tommy Vines Human Resources Lecture. Each year, this series welcomes a leading expert on human resources topics to broaden perspectives and stimulate conversation among VCU students and faculty as well as Richmond’s business leaders.
On October 16, VCU presented Dr. Steven Rogelberg, author of the recent best seller, The Surprising Science of Meetings: How You Can Lead Your Team to Peak Performance that was ranked one of the best business books of 2019 and 2020 by The Washington Post, Forbes, SHRM and Business Insider.
Rogelberg has been profiled on CBS This Morning, BBC World, Freakonomics, the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal. He shared a total of 10 science-based tips to improve virtual meetings – before, during and at the close of a meeting.
Virtual meetings are plagued with challenges
According to Rogelberg, the best meeting leaders recognize their role as a steward of other people’s time. While most meeting leaders are intentional and make thoughtful choices during meetings with clients or customers, this isn’t as true when it comes to hosting meetings with one’s on team or peers. In a recent TEDx talk and during his VCU lecture, Rogelberg offered advice on how to fix that:
Four Pre-Meeting Tips
Four tips to improve virtual meetings
Two tips to strengthen the end of your meeting
Rogelberg’s “bonus” tip and additional suggestions
After his bestselling book propelled his demand for media appearances, Rogelberg was regularly asked: “What is your single best piece of advice for making meetings better?”
While science doesn’t suggest a single “magic bullet,” he concludes that the best way to make your meetings better is to simply ask the people who regularly them how they are going. Alternately, offer a quick survey asking what’s going well, what’s not going well and asking for ideas for improvements.
Asking people for their input is the ultimate act of stewardship. By being intentional and making excellent choices, we all can fix our meetings, one meeting at a time.
Some still question if virtual meetings can be as effective as in-person meetings, but Rogelberg believes they have a bright future. After the pandemic is resolved, hybrid work environments will be here to stay. Remote meetings offer unique benefits, like shared documents and breakout rooms, that may allow them even more effective than traditional meetings.
About the Tommy Vines Human Resources Lecture Series
Now in its third year, the Tommy Vines Human Resources Lecture Series welcomes leading experts on human resources topics to Richmond to broaden perspectives and stimulate conversation among VCU students and faculty as well as Richmond’s business leaders. Last year’s lecture examined generational differences in the workforce.
Vines graduated from VCU School of Business in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree Human Resources and has more than 25 years of human resources experience with IBM, Cigna and the University of Michigan. Prior to his retirement, Mr. Vines served as vice president of Leadership at IBM where he directed the company’s global leadership center. Under his leadership, IBM was recognized by Fortune magazine as the top-ranked company for developing global leaders.
Vines created the Human Resources Lecture Series in 2018 as a way to give back to his alma mater and promote the human resources profession.