Erin Bailey Lake
"You took care of that thing, right?" - WebEx Tips from the Mafia
Remember those throwback “MOB” movies when the phone conversations went like this:
Alphonso: “Hey, Angelo, you took care of that thing, right?”
Angelo: “Yeah, sure…uh… which thing we talkin’ about?”
Along with stereotyping people of Italian descent, this conversation illustrates a key issue in communications – clarity of action steps. Too often – especially in today’s virtual world – critical action items can get blurred amid Zoom meetings #1 and 2 and WEBEX sessions #3 and 4.
How can you be sure action steps are followed and deadlines are met?
Here are some tips. They may seem obvious; but they’re frequently NOT followed.
1. BILLBOARD the purpose of your meeting and the expected outcome.
Make sure it isn’t buried in the agenda. Use screen prompts or even non-tech tools like a whiteboard to be certain participants retain the key objective and plans.
2. If the issue is URGENT, consider making it the ONLY agenda item for today.
Excessive agenda items can overwhelm even the most-attentive participants. There’s no LAW that requires every meeting to last one hour. So try 30 powerful minutes.
3. For vital agenda items, use the BLUF structure: Bottom Line Up Front.
-- Start with stating the BLUF and framing it as an action item.
“To meet your sales objective for the month, we need to sell 30 units this week.”
-- Lay out the plan.
-- Lead discussion.
-- Make assignments.
-- Bookend with the BLUF. “Each of us must hit our number to make the 30-unit objective and maximize your commissions.”
Again, all this may seem obvious. But many team leaders BURY the message in too much context and extraneous information. Using the BLUF structure will remind you to be clear and succinct.
So when you follow up and ask: “Did you take care of that thing?”
…. your team will know WHICH thing.
To get better at ZOOMing and WEBEXing, don’t call the MOB (they’re hard to find).
Just contact us: email@example.com