When you are in one room, it is easier to make sure that everybody participates in a discussion and provide a room for those who are silent.
When you have a discussion in a virtual meeting or in the emails, there are multiple things that can go wrong:
✅ somebody is distracted that’s why this person didn’t provide their opinion, which makes the overall output worse.
✅ somebody decided that will read an email later because the discussion is too long.
✅ somebody is working with emails during a meeting
✅ somebody keeps silence because thinks their opinion doesn’t matter
As a result, we have a discussion, but we don’t get the best from it. And the person who could provide valuable input kept silence because there were not enough participants and the person didn’t feel comfortable saying something.
What can be done?
✅ use a camera during a meeting. It will allow you to get non-verbal information and will not allow being distracted during the meeting.
✅ summarize the milestones and important decisions to make sure everybody is on the same page.
✅ ask those who are silent, don’t let the most vocal person interrupt others.
✅ ask for pros and cons instead of searching for confirmation that the decision is right.
✅ send meeting notes, because tomorrow you may realize that you have missed something important during your discussion. Also, meeting notes will help to track the action items.