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Telepresence & The Culture of Taking Meetings Seriously

By Susie Monyo

How often do you sit in a meeting with anywhere from five to 15 minutes (or more) of technical difficulty?  

-“Hello, can you hear me?”
-“I’ve got video, but no audio - can you check your settings?”

Insert your hilarious story here, I’m sure you’ve got one. 

Stumbling through the first few minutes of a meeting is commonplace these days. While these moments can serve as good ice breakers, or opportunities to get a refill of your coffee - they take up valuable time for your team. Once a meeting starts poorly it is hard to get it back on track, assuming your team waits around for 15 minutes for you to sort out your technical trouble.


A Fast Company article entitled “The Seven Sins of Deadly Meetings” lists the number one sin as: “People don’t take meetings seriously. They arrive late, leave early, and spend most of their time doodling.”  

The key to changing that is running a crisp meeting. If you’re looking to change the pace and mood of your meetings, it can be difficult to do when you start with technical challenges every time.   

The second sin is “Meetings are too long. They should accomplish twice as much in half the time.”

Some high-performing teams keep track of the cost of each meeting. They calculate the salary costs of everyone participating and if eight people are in the meeting, they tally the cost of an hour times eight people. This dollar value is then added to the bottom of the meeting notes or agenda. It’s a sobering and motivating reminder of the value of your time. As your team grows and you spend more time in meetings with some of your team working remotely, it can be helpful (and gut-wrenching) to calculate the cost of time wasted on technical difficulties. A useful exercise would be to take stock of how many meetings your team participates in in a week where there are remote connections, and figure out what you could save by knocking 10-20 minutes off each meeting. The same goes for the reverse, as you could also figure out how much more you could do with an extra 20 minutes in a meeting. 

The Harvard Business Review has a great calculator you can use if you’d like to see what your meetings are worth.

Clear communication is critical

Beyond the first few minutes of technical difficulty, clear communication amongst your team is critical. I’m sure you’ve had an experience of a video chat or a phone call where the audio was poor or the quality of the video was low, and you were straining to listen to a call. Take a moment to consider the mindset you’re in while you’re straining to listen. Is it thoughtful, contemplative and creative? Or hard-pressed and stressed? If you’re sharing new ideas or collaborating with your team - you need solid communication tools to be at your creative best in order to approach new ideas with an open, thoughtful perspective. If you’re trying to solve a key problem on a deadline, it can get frustrating very quickly if you’re repeating key details. If you’re trying to build a high-performing team and also enhance your company culture, then providing high-performing tools is a great start.


You may be questioning whether dedicated teleconference tools are right for your business. As your team grows and you have regular communication, especially where that communication requires collaboration, open thinking, creativity and clarity it may be useful to explore a telepresence solution with dedicated high-quality equipment, fast connections and simple and easy-to-use controls. Of course, you’ll have to think up a new icebreaker for your meeting, and make sure your coffee is full before you start.  

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Susie Monyo

About Susie Monyo

Susie is currently the Social Media Specialist at CounterPath. She is an engaging storyteller who is passionate about working with innovative technologies. As a compelling content creator, she is always eager to learn and share information about the latest solutions. Susie manages all of CounterPath's social channels and always finds new ways to fuse pop culture and the world of technology.

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