Sometimes when you can’t join your Forum in person, you might actually be available for some or all of the meeting, just not able to get to the meeting venue on time.
If remote participation is the only choice, do it the right way:
- Establish a video, not only an audio, connection whenever possible (e.g., Skype, WebEx, Google Hangout). Even if you can’t see everyone else, your Forum mates will value seeing you
- Ask the moderator to give the speakerphone or computer a “seat” at the table, so you can be easily called on
- Maintain focus – refrain from any distractions just as if you were physically present (no checking email or working on non-Forum business)
- Remind the moderator to actively control the flow of the meeting to ensure you can get into the conversation
- Ensure that you are in a quiet, private location with no interruptions
- If you can only attend part of the meeting, give priority to the Updates portion, being present to share your own significant issues and hear from other members.
And what’s the wrong way to participate virtually? It’s the way many of us attend conference calls: in a distracted, multitasking mode with our minds only half on the call.
If you can be fully present, following the guidelines above, your Forum will appreciate the extra effort you made to engage with the group.