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Inclusive hybrid meetings

Hosting hybrid meetings where everyone can participate on equal terms can be challenging. The HR unit at the CBH School has therefore put together a step-by-step guide for a successful and inclusive hybrid meeting.

Before you call the meeting

When it's a big meeting: help everyone contribute by preparing. Send out points in advance or, for example, a link about the subject area of the meeting.

Plan a round where everyone in the meeting can contribute with their perspective.

Think about whether a meeting is the best form of communication. Maybe you just want to give some information? Maybe it is better to write it down and send it out instead?

Choose a meeting room and meeting time that enables as many people in the group as possible to participate, taking into account physical disabilities, the need for breaks and the need to pick up children at preschool, for example.

Select premises and technical equipment that enables all participants to be heard and seen by each other.

Book the meeting time so that it is easy to get a break in the working day, for example by starting the meeting at a quarter past instead of on the hour.

In the meeting invitation

Distinguish between discussion points, information and decision points. If you want feedback from others, be clear about it. If you are going to communicate a decision that already applies, then do not invite discussion about the decision itself, but instead discuss how the decision should best be implemented. One way to be clear is to divide the agenda into different areas like: information, discussion and decision making.

Write something about the conditions for the meeting, for example:

  • If it’s well suited for taking a walk.
  • If it’s important to be able to see a split screen.
  • If you want the participants to have the camera on or not.
  • Whether or not those attending the meeting room need to bring their own laptop.

Just before the meeting

Try the technology:

  • Everyone in the meeting must be seen on the screen.
    • In the meeting room, either a common camera is arranged for the entire room, or everyone has their own laptop with camera.
  • Everyone in the meeting needs to be heard, and hear others.
    • In the meeting room, it is good if you use a common microphone and speakers, or everyone has their laptop with headphones. If you mix speaker sound with some having headphones, the sound image will be strange. If you use headphones, everyone in the meeting room needs to be careful to turn off their microphone when they are not talking.
    • Those who participate at a distance need to turn off their microphone when they are not talking.
  • Identify the roles that are relevant to the meeting. Feel free to divide the roles among the participants:
    • Meeting chair
    • Presentation manager
    • Someone in the meeting room who pays extra attention on those who participate via Zoom (check chat, pay attention to if anyone seems to want to talk)
    • Secretary

During the meeting

As a meeting leader, you can contribute to more active attendance by:

  • Making clear how questions should be asked. Example: write in the chat, raise your hand digitally / physically.
  • Go around the table and ask each person to answer or reflect. For example, each person suggests something that works well and something that needs to be improved (instead of just telling your views on the matter).
  • Make hives. Everyone gets a question that two people (or a maximum of three) talk about in small groups. This could be, for example, if you have presented something at the meeting that you would like feedback on: ask an open question about what they thought, let the participants have a hive for 5 minutes and then ask them to tell their most important conclusion to the whole group.
  • Ask direct questions to people who are attending the meeting. Choose to highlight different people's knowledge and perspective. For example: since you work with xxx, can you give your opinion on this question?
  • Help participants to be personal and concrete when giving criticism. Say for example "I perceived the last meeting as unclear to xxx", and not "at the last meeting you were unclear".
  • Give positive feedback to those who contribute to the meeting.
  • If there is something you do not understand, start with: "It was interesting what you said, can you explain more so that I understand how it can be used in this context?". Avoid negative comments such as: "that does not belong here" or "you do not speak clearly enough" etc.
  • Be careful about valuing different groups or people differently. Respect all professional roles represented at the meeting. For example, you can help participants to not value different groups in different ways, and describe what kind of needs or skills they have instead.

To the meeting participants

You are an important part of the meeting! You are involved in increasing or decreasing the possibility of an inclusive meeting.