News

Stop Scheduling Conference Calls And Finally Commit To Videoconferencing

You know the signs when you’re on a conference call with someone: You make a point or ask a question, and after a second or two of silence, you hear ums, ahhs, and the clicking of a keyboard in the background. In my experience, one-third to one-half of the time spent on a conference call is wasted on refocusing a meandering discussion, clarifying misunderstandings because someone wasn’t paying attention, and reviewing topics already covered. I’d rather spend 45 minutes working through a video conference with a CEO or GM than have a two-hour traditional conference call. Watch this very amusing “Conference call in real life” video to see how ineffective these calls can be. I’ve been with clients in their offices while they joined conference calls and observed an utter lack of engagement in the conversation as they listen to a call as if it were hold music. The phrase “Phoning it in” exists because people can sit back, be less engaged, and less focused on a phone call. Here is a good litmus test – ask yourself if the conference call you are scheduling is important enough that it would require your undivided attention and focused energy to solve a problem, address a thorny issue, develop a plan to improve, create a strategy, or get an update.

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