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How to run an async meeting

To run an async meeting, you need to set clear agendas, utilize collaborative tools for sharing updates and taking decisions, and ensure everyone contributes according to their schedule without needing to be online at the same time.

An async meeting, short for asynchronous meeting, refers to a type of collaboration where participants do not have to be present in real-time. Instead of gathering in a physical or virtual meeting room at a set time, participants can contribute their ideas, thoughts, or feedback at their convenience within a specified timeframe. Async meetings often utilize various online collaboration tools or platforms to facilitate communication and ensure effective collaboration while providing flexibility for participants to work asynchronously. This approach allows individuals to manage their time better, work across different time zones, and promotes inclusivity by accommodating diverse schedules and workstyles.

What is the purpose of a async meeting?

The purpose of running an async-meeting as a leader is to promote effective communication and collaboration among team members while allowing flexibility in their schedules. By conducting meetings asynchronously, participants have the opportunity to contribute their ideas, feedback, and updates at their own convenience, resulting in increased productivity and inclusivity within the team.

How to run an async meeting: Step-By-Step

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Step 1: Identify the need for an async meeting

Assess if the topic is suitable for an asynchronous meeting by considering factors like team members in different time zones or with conflicting schedules, to determine if effective communication and problem-solving can be achieved.

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Step 2: Plan the agenda

In order to create an effective agenda, make sure to include all important topics to be discussed and share it with all participants beforehand for better communication and preparation.

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Step 3: Select the platform

To ensure effective collaboration and flexibility, selecting the appropriate platform for asynchronous meetings is crucial. Options like Trello, Slack, or Asana facilitate easy access, enabling personnel to navigate, engage, and provide responses at their convenience.

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Step 4: Setup the meeting

Create an async meeting on the chosen platform with detailed info: purpose, agenda, timelines, resources required. Invite all participants to ensure their involvement in this productive virtual collaboration.

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Step 5: Define the rules

Developing a set of rules for meetings is crucial. These rules should outline time limits for responses, guidelines on how and when to contribute, and promote respect for diverse opinions.

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Step 6: Share the materials

Upload or share any necessary materials, files, or relevant resources on the designated meeting platform in order to provide participants with all the essential information they need to actively participate in the asynchronous meeting.

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Step 7: Initialize the meeting

Create an inclusive environment by inviting all participants to actively contribute their inputs, innovative ideas, and valuable suggestions regarding the shared agenda, facilitating open and collaborative discussions that drive forward progress and innovation.

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Step 8: Document the decisions

It is crucial to track and record all discussions and decisions in a visible and accessible platform, ensuring they are logged and documented as the discussions continue, enabling easy reference and accountability.

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Step 9: Encourage participation

Foster an engaging and inclusive atmosphere by actively seeking input through open-ended questions, recognizing individual contributions, and actively involving quieter members by requesting their feedback and thoughts.

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Step 10: Conclude the meeting

We are pleased to inform you that the async meeting has been successfully concluded. Key outcomes have been summarized, and we sincerely appreciate the valuable contributions from all participants. Any agreed actions will be promptly followed up.

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Step 11: Evaluate the effectiveness

Evaluate the success of the asynchronous meeting and identify areas for enhancement in future sessions by conducting a post-meeting survey or engaging in conversations with team members.

Questions to ask as the leader of the meeting

1. What are the key updates since our last meeting?
Explanation: This question helps the leader to stay informed about any significant developments or changes that have taken place, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

2. What are the roadblocks or challenges that you are currently facing?
Explanation: This question allows the leader to identify any obstacles that may be impeding progress and offer support or guidance to overcome them.

3. What are your priorities for the coming week?
Explanation: By asking this question, the leader can ensure that team members are aligned on their goals and objectives, enabling effective resource allocation and coordination.

4. Are there any dependencies or coordination needed with other team members or departments?
Explanation: This question prompts team members to highlight any interdependencies that may affect their work, facilitating collaboration and smooth execution of tasks.

5. Are there any opportunities or ideas for improvement that you would like to share with the team?
Explanation: This question encourages team members to share their insights, suggestions, or innovative ideas, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and boosting creativity.

6. Do you have any concerns or questions that need to be addressed?
Explanation: This question provides an opportunity for team members to voice any concerns or seek clarification, promoting open communication and ensuring that everyone feels heard and supported.

7. How can we better support you in achieving your goals?
Explanation: By asking this question, leaders demonstrate their commitment to employee development and well-being, and it allows team members to express their needs and preferences.

8. Is there anything else you would like to discuss or bring up in this meeting?
Explanation: This open-ended question gives team members the freedom to address any additional topics or issues that may not have been covered yet, ensuring that nothing important slips through the cracks.

As a leader, preparing an agenda for an async-meeting is crucial for effective communication. Start by clearly defining the meeting’s purpose and desired outcomes. Break down the key discussion points and assign time slots for each. Include any relevant documents or resources. Finally, send the agenda to participants well in advance to allow them ample time for preparation.

How To Prepare For A Async Meeting
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During an async-meeting, it is essential to focus on topics that require minimal real-time interaction. These may include sharing progress updates, discussing project milestones, reviewing documents or proposals, brainstorming ideas, addressing questions or concerns, and assigning tasks. It is crucial to prioritize topics that can be efficiently communicated through written messages or recorded videos to ensure effective collaboration and productivity.

See Our Async Meeting Template
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Software tools to facilitate a async meeting

Software helps leaders run async meetings by providing a centralized platform where team members can collaborate and share updates. It allows participants to post messages, assign tasks, and share documents, ensuring everyone stays informed and on track. With automated notifications and progress tracking, software enables leaders to manage and coordinate meetings efficiently, regardless of time zones or schedules.

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Conclusion

Running async meetings can be a game-changer for businesses, allowing teams to collaborate effectively in a remote and flexible environment. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your async meetings are productive, inclusive, and efficient.

Remember to set clear objectives, establish communication guidelines, and leverage the right tools and technologies to enhance collaboration. Encourage active participation, provide feedback and opportunities for discussion, and prioritize transparency in sharing information.

Embracing async meetings not only increases productivity but also creates a more balanced and empowered work culture. With proper planning and implementation, businesses can reap the benefits of asynchronous communication, leading to happier teams, better decision-making, and ultimately, improved overall performance.

So, take the leap, adopt async meetings, and optimize your team’s collaboration. The future of work is asynchronous, and your business will thrive by embracing this new way of meeting and collaborating.

Jannik Lindner

I'm Jannik and I write on MeetingFever about the experiences from my career as a founder and team lead.

If you have any questions, please contact me via LinkedIn.

Popular Questions

What is an async meeting?

An async meeting, short for asynchronous meeting, is a meeting that does not happen in real time. Team members can contribute their ideas, updates, or feedback at their convenience, typically on a shared platform or document.

Why would a team choose async meetings?

Async meetings can be particularly useful for remote teams in different time zones. They allow flexibility allowing each team member to contribute when it suits them best, reducing disruptions in individual workflows and minimizing several back-to-back meetings.

How can we effectively communicate in an async meeting?

Effective communication in an async meeting relies much on clear writing. All contributions should be concise, clear, and respectful. Making use of technology like collaborative documents, discussion boards, and task management tools can also help to structure and organize the conversation effectively.

What are the downsides of async meetings?

Some downsides may include the delay in communication and decision-making since responses are not immediate. The absence of real-time interaction also poses challenges to foster team bonding and nurture relationships.

Are async meetings suitable for every situation?

No, async meetings are not always the best fit for every situation. For urgent decisions, complex discussions, or sensitive topics that require immediate response or dynamic conversation, real-time or synchronous meetings may work better.

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