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.
- 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
- 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