Forget the phone, have an IM meeting

A recent glitch during a Webex meeting got me thinking about the time I had a team meeting using IM.

For me, using IM for a meeting is great; it conceals my NY accent and I can type as fast a I can talk. Of course, remembering that not everyone can do that was my biggest challenge. At the time I had a small team, and they were game for trying it. It worked pretty well and I’ve done it once or twice since.

THE GOOD

  • If you like to take fastidious notes during meetings IM is great because the whole meeting is a note
  • Everyone gets to be heard; you want to say something, type it
  • It works best with small groups – too many folks can cause confusion in the thread. I wouldn’t do it with more than 4-5 people
  • You need to be very comfortable with the team – don’t try this for a kickoff or when major decisions need to be made
  • They’re great for frequent team check-ins or updates

THE LESSONS

  • You need to be aware that others can’t type at same speed, though that’s not much different from realizing that people absorb info at a meeting at different paces
  • It can get tough to follow if you’re scrolling up to catch something since IM forces the display down as more content is added
  • Give people time to read and absorb what you wrote. I like to write more frequent quick posts, so I needed to let my team know when I finished a thought…like saying “over” on those old-time radio transmissions
  • Don’t jump topics until everyone is ready to move on; unlike a chat or threaded discussion, IM just posts content as they comes in. You don’t want to confuse people. I specifically asked if it was OK to move on to our next agenda item

 Give it a shot and let me know how you make out

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About John Buonora

Social Learning Manager and Strategist working on career number three. An Old School guy with Millennial skills and a lover of my family, sports and food.
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