You’re part of a small team of 3-6 people and your online meetings are a bit soulless. You know your co-workers pretty well, things are business-like, but it’s all a bit…perfunctory.  You miss the random sparky-ness of a bigger group, but quite frankly ‘organised fun’ for three would seem a bit over the top.   You crave something fresh…

Here’s five ideas to improve the energy of small group meetings without being cringeworthy.

  1. Name (and own) a change of tempo:Hey, our meetings are OK, but I wonder if they could be better. I’ve got some ideas that we might try out, if you’re up for it?”  To make a change of format less jarring, consider suggesting it for a particular project or type of meeting. 
  2. Instigate a different format to mix things up: Create an agenda that everyone can contribute to whilst walking (discussion meetings work well). Schedule some meetings with cameras off, (or on), or ask people to use a themed backdrop. “Tomorrow’s meeting will be on the virtual beach, please set your background to join the vibe.
  3. Time limit for the sake of productivity:  “I notice x is a bit of a time drain for us, what if we had a turbo charged 15 mins to work on it, and we use the time we save to nip out and get a coffee?
  4. Solve a problem: Getting stuff done gives a little surge of satisfaction, so plan this into your agenda.  It’s likely that most topics are too big for one meeting, so seek out sub-tasks that you can complete to feed your sense of accomplishment.
  5. Take it in turns to share something fun:  Your brief could be as open as to share “something that I liked”.  It could be a piece of good news (professional, personal, or a story from the news), drink, food, music, of something geeky that relates to your work.  Give notice of the theme and gently hold people to account to encourage participation.