There is ample argument for and against participants appearing on camera in virtual meetings. The challenge with hybrid meetings is that having your camera off disadvantages the remote participant. Our suggestion here is that you think through the specifics and agree together on your expectations.
Use this guide to decide whether cameras are crucial to the remote participants in your meeting:
• Share the Facts: Remind the group of any agreement they have made around video usage. For example: Hey, team. I’m noticing that most of you don’t have your webcams on, and we discussed as a team how we’d like to see more of them on to foster better discussion and involvement in the meetings.
• Tell Your Story: Say something like: I’m noticing some folk’s video is OFF. Whether right or not, this causes me to feel that you’re not engaging in our meeting. I’m concerned that if we don’t use our webcams, then we’ll be disconnected. That could lead to poor meeting results. None of us want that. I value everyone’s view and really want you to contribute.
• Ask for Their Help: Say something like: In order to build our team and to maximize your participation in this next discussion seeing your verbal and non-verbal responses will be important. Therefore, would you please turn on your webcams for our meeting? If you have any concerns, please send me a private message. I’d be happy to chat with you.
• The Importance of Body Language: Say something like: Behavioral research has shown the importance of non-verbal communication. We know that seeing people helps to make our messages clear and unambiguous. This will be a complex discussion and any way to enhance our ability to communicate ideas clearly will be helpful. Therefore, please turn your video ON for this discussion.
What Would You Say?
Do you have a unique meeting challenge not covered by one of our blog posts? We’re always looking for different dilemmas to discuss in our articles!