If you’re not already aware (we do talk about it a lot!) the NLS8 team utilises many online tools to organise NLS8 (10 days to go!) and meetings are held in Google Hangout. Our first online meeting was a very long chat in Skype (no video, just typing!) which was fun but pretty cumbersome if you needed to go back to find out what someone said.
Once we were up and running and needed an easier way to communicate, we started using these three tools to make our meetings more effective and enjoyable.
Aaah Google Hangouts, all of our lovely faces on the screen at the same time. I’ve noticed that we’ve all learnt to not talk over the top of each other (we were very stop start in the first few meetings). And we all have a preference for using either the desktop version or app. We occasionally still have sound and video issues, however some people join the meeting from the bus or train and some of us are in our pyjamas!
We use Trello for our monthly reports and create a checklist each month for the agenda. This lets people add their own agenda items plus the chairperson can tick them off as we go. Who doesn’t love ticking things off a list? Personally I think the checklist agenda is great because I can see where we are up to and use it as a prompt for further discussion.
About 2 minutes before the meeting starts, Slack will light up with someone sharing the link to the hangout or someone asking for the link! During the meeting we use our Slack channels to share documents and links that are being discussed, as they are being discussed. Conversations then continue on after the meeting as well, it’s a good way to follow up on an action item – seize the day and all that.
There’s actually a fourth ‘tool’ – and that’s laughter. We wouldn’t have got this far without being able to laugh at ourselves and each other in a very gentle way. Our hangouts have been punctuated by many laughs and general silliness, it’s something I will miss once NLS8 is all over.
I’d like to see more laughter and kindness in other meetings I attend, actually that will be my next challenge!