As a host leader, we seek to meet people at the threshold. There is a key moment as people arrive when we want to be in a position to welcome them into the space, say hello, make a direct connection and perhap explain any house rules or routines. This is in contrast, of course, to the hero leader who keeps themselves hidden away to maintain the mystique, or the old-fashioned teacher who shows up last into the room and expects everyone else to leap to their feet.
This is true in online meetings as well. In fact, there are all kinds of good reasons to be first online in meetings you are hosting. You get to say hello as people arrive, have a quick catch up, sort out any technical problems and e available for quick exchanges on emerging issues.
There are two other options, neither of which are as good. You could make everyone wait until you arrive at the appropriate time, which sounds efficient but actually encourages the others to come along late (not wanting to hang around for you). Or you can allow people to join the meeting without you, and give them a space to talk about you behind your back. (Zoom, for example, has a setting for this in the unlikely event that you want to do it.)
So be the first person in, and perhaps also the last person out. People will feel welcomed into your space, and be encouraged to give of their best.
What are your top tips for getting productive by welcoming people at the threshold online? Please add comments below and we’ll share them (with acknowledgement, of course).