Citrix online Meeting

goodbyeBy Gayle Turner

Saying goodbye has always been awkward for me. So during my dating years, I actually planned exit strategies for that moment at the door, because I knew that how I ended the date would affect the future of the relationship. Guys I wanted to kiss got “the look, ” and guys I didn’t got the stiff-armed pat on the shoulder.

Now, as a teleworker who hosts frequent online meetings – often with a video component – I’m faced with saying goodbye in a business setting several times each day. And I’ve realized the need for a good exit strategy is just as great in business as in romance. Ending a meeting on a good note will help projects move forward faster and build relationships. Ending on a bad note will slow down your project, reduce your credibility and leave you looking and feeling like a social clod.

I can’t say I’ve mastered the online meeting goodbye yet, but I’ve gathered a few best practices that I think help me exit with a little more grace.

  1. Have an agenda and stick to it. When you’ve covered everything on it, you’re very close to being done. Never drag a meeting out just to fill up the time allotted. People will thank you for giving them their time back and they will leave feeling a sense of accomplishment.
  2. Ask if anyone has any additional questions or concerns. Some people may not participate until they are asked to, because they aren’t comfortable interrupting others. Allow a little time for people to digest the meeting content and respond.
  3. Sum up key decisions and action items. This gives you the final say and helps people remember it. They will leave the meeting with a clear understanding of what you wanted them to know and do.
  4. Thank attendees for coming, tell them you’re closing the meeting and wish them well. Good manners are good business. It helps to give people a little warning that you are turning off the meeting software – otherwise, they feel like you’re slamming the door in their face. You want people to leave feeling appreciated and happy they met with you. You can’t shake their hand, but you want them to feel as if you did.
  5. Close the meeting – and your mouth. Here’s a trick I still need to work on – put your finger on the “Close meeting for all” button BEFORE you say goodbye. Then, you don’t have that awkward silence between when you cease interacting and you turn off the meeting software. Also, if you are using video conferencing, the last image of your face may be frozen for a few seconds when you close the meeting. You don’t want your last impression to be codfish face. So stop talking and flash a quick smile when you press that button.

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