There are three meaningful roles in a conference call:
- Organiser: You’re the person who schedules, arranges and brings the conference call together. You might also be on the conference call itself as the “great number”, either participating actively or playing more of an administrative role managing the technology.
- Chair: You’re the person running the meeting during the conference call itself, just like the chair of a confront-to-confront meeting.
- Participant: You’re a participant in the conference call. Of course, this includes the chair in addition.
There’s some overlap between these roles, and they’re not necessarily always done by different people. However, all three roles are important, and all play a part in making the conference call successful.
Each of the three roles has different objectives. It’s important to know these objectives in addition, so the call runs smoothly.
Different people take on different responsibilities during the call. Broadly, the organiser takes on dominant responsibility before and after the call, and hands over responsibility to the chair and participants for the call itself.
observe that we’re only talking here about responsibility for the call. Everybody involved must nevertheless take personal responsibility for their own outcomes.
Your main objective is to conduct the business of the call, at all event that business happens to be. already if a meeting is dominated by a vocal minority – or already a vocal majority – that doesn’t average their view should prevail. It’s up to you as chair to manage the call so the overall objective is met.
Your main objective is to help the chair unprotected to this objective.
Think of your role as removing obstacles for the chair – things like:
- Technology obstacles
- Scheduling obstacles
- Preparation obstacles
- Agenda obstacles
- Participant obstacles
- Time obstacles
Focus on the things that make the chair’s life easier.
Your main objective is to contribute appropriately to meeting this objective.
Your contribution will take on different forms, depending on your formal job description, your skill, your seniority, your fleeting, who else is involved in the call and other factors. However, keep in mind the overall objective of the call, and use that to guide your contribution.