You might be the kind of person who usually work alone, but situations might arise when you have to have conference calls with your subordinates or co-workers. Conference calls have potential to be a productive collaboration tool if handled effectively, if not they can become a total waste of time. It is based on how well conference calls are organized in prior and how effectively they are managed.
Here is the list of a few things that you should take care to make sure that your conference calls go as planned.
The main purpose of holding a conference call shouldn’t be to socialize with your fellow colleagues and employees in different parts of the world. Make sure that you have a clear list of meeting goals to make sure that you have a plan ahead and you are not wasting everyone’s time.
People generally use conference calls for the following objectives:
· Checking the project status for crucial projects and keeping track of all the applicable deadlines that have to be met
· Addressing any potential concerns that might affect the productivity of your team members.
· Planning ahead for the future including organizational goals for the coming days
Don’t try to over reach with a single conference call. It is advisable to work on just a few broader goals, so that everyone will be able to cover them in decent detail. The number of issues that you will be able to cover in one conference call and the amount of detail that you can put into each topic depends on the total amount of time that you have allocated for the call.
Make sure that your conference calls don’t cross the dreaded one hour mark unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. It affects the attention span of the people involved after the one hour mark and it will end up being less effective with very little being actually covered. Therefore, best practice would be to hold conference calls on successive days if you have a lot of ground to cover in it.
Basic Business Etiquette
A business conference call might end up frustrating everyone if the participants don’t follow certain norms. Many of the participants of a conference call would rarely end up interacting with each other and most of the time won’t be able to understand each other’s social norms. Many common problems would also be brought to attention only during a conference call, so people might get frustrated that they weren’t brought to the management’s attention earlier.
You must try and keep tensions as low as possible for effective communication. So make sure that everyone follows certain basic business etiquette while in a call. You should have a designated conference call moderator who will have to redirect the conversation in case someone raises their voice or become uncivil during a conference call.
Be mindful of differences
Many large organizations are multinational nowadays, which include co workers from different cultural backgrounds working together for the common good of the company. Chances are that you have many skilled employees working in different parts of the world, it can be quite difficult to convey your thoughts with them during international conference call due to the cultural differences. Be aware of the following issues that might arise:
· Difficulty in dealing with your employees due to the language barriers
· Challenges in understanding the said content due to different cultural norms
· Infrastructural problems in certain countries might interrupt communication
Take necessary steps to make sure that these problems are addressed beforehand and you’ve done everything in your capability to complete the conference call as smooth as possible.
Conference calls can be a very useful tool to keep your widespread business connected and running smoothly. A conference call every now and then makes sure that everyone is one the same page. Just follow the issues mentioned above to make sure that it is as productive as it can be.