Being a virtual company is mostly all great — the freedom, working in your yoga pants with a puppy on your lap — or from a hotel room, solitude to create. And… it has challenges. #TeamDanielle is made up of a core team of 8 women + key service providers. The biggest challenge for me with being a virtual business was our team meetings.
It’s hard to free-flow with a whole team on the phone — you can’t read people’s faces, energy gets trickier, there are awkward pauses. Add the fact that I’m an awful facilitator, and it meant that the team phone meetings were killin’ me. I figured out that structure would be our salvation. And it has been. We’ve definitely evolved from frustration to elation on the team meets.
HOW WE RUN TEAM MEETINGS
1. Technology. Every week, we use the same dedicated conference line through FreeConferenceCalling.com. Although we adore Skype (we use it all day, every day for chatting and link sharing), it was konking out when we had more than four people on the line. On special occasions, we all wash our hair and do a meeting on Google Hangouts. The last time we did that, everyone was having champagne. (Note: Champagne for lunch is ALWAYS a great idea.)
2. Timing. We gather on Mondays at 10am PST. We tried meeting on other days of the week — mostly because of my resistance to being conventional, “Who wants to meet on a MONDAY?!” But I decided to act like a grown up and truly kick the week off when it truly started — like people have been doing for a thousand+ years.
3. Alphabetical order. “Who wants to go next?” created confusion and time lag and raised blood pressure. So we do roll call, check in’s — everything — in alphabetical order. (And for a crew of extremely bright women, you’d be amazed how often we can’t get it. “Wait, am I next? Who’s next, is it Angie or Annika? I guess I’ll go. Can we skip me?”)
4. Start with a heart-check-in. How you feeling? What did you do this weekend? How’s your heart?
5. Business updates. Everyone comes with an update from their “department.” What’s happening? What do we need to know about? Any fun “trend reports” or cool stuff you’ve seen that you want to mention for inspiration?
6. Key dates. What do we need to be ready for and when?
7. Sermon or cosmic report. I close with an energy-check, a vision ra-ra, or a quick report on what’s happening cosmically and/or astrologically.
8. Your Top 3 Most Important Things. What are the 3 KEY things you’re going to do this week to move us in the direction we want to go? Actionable. Impactful. NOTE: We EMAIL this list to each other immediately after the call. It’s really effective to have it in written form.
It’s not on our formal list but we sprinkle a lot of love, genuineness and bad jokes into everything. Our laughter is just as energizing as our deadlines. We care about each other. We’re here to do business. We love getting it done.