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Tips Guides – Make it Easy to Apply Dozens of Short, Practical Ideas


Guided Insights Quick Tips Guides – recently updated with new templates:

Both guides are available in softcopy form as a PDF file. Order now

107 Tips for Planning and Leading Exceptionally Engaging Virtual Meetings

Just revised! If you’re looking for ways to design and run more engaging virtual meetings, this tips guide is a great resource for you. Guided Insights principal Nancy Settle-Murphy created this quick reference guide to help remote meeting planners, virtual team leaders and team members find practical help where they need it most. Our 107 Tips for Planning and Leading Exceptional Virtual Meetings guide draws from years’ worth of real-world client experience, collaboration, research and discussion groups. Please click here for ordering information.

Contents include:

  • ABCs of planning virtual meetings
  • Importance of prework
  • Using the right technology
  • Creating a realistic agenda
  • Engaging remote participants
  • Running “hybrid” meetings
  • Navigating cultural differences
  • Following up
  • Building on success
  • Plus checklists, templates and sample agenda

“I keep your tips booklet posted right next to me on the hutch of my desk and use it frequently when I’m planning meetings. This booklet is my most valuable meeting tool because, no matter what a meeting is about, following those tips ensures a successfully run meeting. Thanks for the great tool!”

Sample tips:

  • Use your meeting time wisely—focus on having the right discussions, versus presenting data or content that could be read elsewhere. Save precious meeting time for conversations, not “slideware.” Try for 80% active participation vs. 20% passive participation. Too much passive participation sends people right to email.
  • Make sure people know what pre-reading or prework they need to do at least five working days in advance. If you’re asking them to pore through a lot of reading material, specify which information, exactly, they need to review before they can fully participate in the conversation.
  •  Everyone should have equal access to all tools. As an example, sufficient bandwidth can be an issue for some, as can company firewalls that may prohibit needed downloads. Consider, too, any security issues likely to crop up with the introduction of a new tool, and make sure to address them up front with your participants.
  •  Make sure to allocate time for ground rules, group check-in, review of objectives and agenda, and working out any technology problems that may crop up. This piece alone may take up to 10 minutes, especially if some participants are new to the meeting or the team.

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120 Essential Tips for Leading Amazingly Productive Virtual Teams

Just revised! If you’re leading a geographically-dispersed team, either as a project leader or a direct manager, this newly-revised tips guide from Guided Insights principal Nancy Settle-Murphy can be an indispensable reference guide. Synthesized from content from some of her most popular courses, combined with real-life client experiences, these practical tips can dramatically improve the effectiveness of almost any virtual team.

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In addition, to the contents below, the guide also includes a few helpful templates to help jumpstart your virtual team.

  • Assessing capabilities, aptitudes
  • On-boarding and off-ramping team members
  • Creating a level playing field
  • Cultivating trust across borders
  • Building social capital – strengthening relationships
  • Navigating cultural differences
  • Creating a “big picture” virtual team communications plan
  • Do’s and don’ts of using email for virtual teams
  • Decision-making, virtually
  • Delivering coaching feedback from afar
  • Celebrating, recognizing, rewarding great performance
  • Best-practices norms to save virtual teams time, reduce frustration and boost productivity
  • Plus checklists, templates and examples

Sample tips:

1    Assign tasks and leadership roles in ways that take full advantage of the different skills, experiences, and perspectives within your group. Look beyond the obvious people to find those who can benefit by growth opportunities, which can be rarer when working as a virtual team.

2    Assign a team “buddy” to help ramp-up each new team member. Try to rotate this responsibility, pairing people who may benefit from each other’s’ skills and experience. This should be done in person or via phone, when possible, versus relying primarily on email or IM to allow for more open, direct conversations.

3    Recognize and minimize power differentials – perceived and real. Be sensitive to the perceptions of remote workers that you may be playing favorites with those closest to you. Ask people on your team for an honest assessment about the extent to which they believe you treat all team members equitably.

4    Invite people to reveal a piece of themselves at every opportunity. Make it easy and fast for people to reveal a little bit of information about themselves. For example, you can ask people to answer a quick (non-invasive) personal question as they log in and/or dial in, such as “What is the title of the last book you’ve read? Or “Describe what you like best about the current season.”

5    Learn enough about the different cultures represented by your team so you can apply the most effective tactics for engaging all participants without fear of embarrassment or resentment.  In some cultures, for example, calling on someone by name may be awkward or humiliating.  Design your team meeting to encourage easy participation by everyone without calling anyone out. For example, you might go around the virtual table and ask each person for the one aspect of X that each likes the best and the one aspect that s/he considers most concerning.

Ordering information

Use the form below to order from PayPal. Once we receive your order, you will receive a PDF file via email, from which you can print the number of copies you have paid for. If you prefer to place an order using a purchase order, please contact us directly. If you find that you’d like to print more copies than you have paid for and would like to take advantage of a volume discount for additional copies, please contact us directly for pricing.

There are many other ways we can make this content available to your organization. For example, we can license the content to you for use inside or outside of your company. We can also make arrangements to imprint this guide with your organization’s name and logo. Please contact us via email or phone (+01.978.263.2545) to discuss options.

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