24 APR 2020 | SIMONE MAUS.
Well, I guess we all have been now at home for a while and either work from home or work with other people, family members and clients via online meeting platforms.
We are all experiencing a steep learning curve within this new online environment. But let’s not forget, there are also many people out there, including myself and my organisation, who have worked remotely and virtually for many years already. There are many resources and tools that we can draw on and help each other.
This blog is intended to make a start with this.
To make online meetings and in fact, any meeting successful, decide who facilitates or hosts or chairs the meeting.
The role of the facilitator
Provide an agenda, ideally, before the meeting,
Make people feel welcome
Creates a diverse range of group activities to improve participants engagement
Make sure all voices are heard
Some simple tools
- Start the meeting with a check-in question.
Everyone has to answer this question and it can create fun and also the opportunity to speak about some of the challenges of this new way of working. Get people engaged and make them feel welcome as human beings. For example use a question like: What is one highlight and one challenge that is emerging for you? What do you do for fun?
- Connection before content.
Social connection is a basic human need that currently is not met in the way that we are used to. In fact, it probably is a need that is growing the more time we spend in isolation. Let’s try to find this somehow online and in the new way that we are working.
The other day I attended a session where the owner from Playmeo shared some wonderful fun exercises that can be done online in order to create energy in the group, to break the ice to create connection and many other things. Have a look at the ‘Playmeo’ website, see link below for the many resources and processes that you could use to make your online meetings more fun.
- Use break out rooms and get people into action in your meetings
A number of online platforms now have the ability to create break out rooms, which means that you can split up the group into smaller groups and give them a task to work with some of the agenda items. There are two aspects to consider:
Video Conference break out room – How do you connect in a small group. Zoom has this build in. I think Microsoft teams as well and Adobe Connect.If not consider the group to go for a walk and have three-way or four-way call on the phone. Be creative.
Online Collaboration tools. – Again there is a fast list of online tools that are available where people can meet on a document and start collecting their ideas, reorder them and come up with solutions they can present. Here are some tools that you might like to check out:
- Collaboration platforms
Simple to use:
For more complex technical and social engagement:
3 D Experience products
Bang the Table
Stay connected with your peers and help each other to navigate this very steep learning curve for all of us. Over the last months or so I have been offering a free Q and A session via Zoom for facilitators, meeting professionals and leader to join and bring their questions. We spend an hour helping each other.
Anyone is welcome to join who has to facilitate meetings. We meet Wednesday’s 5 pm, Melbourne, Australia time and you can register below.
At our meeting yesterday we chatted about how to work with translators in an online workshop. How to help as a participant if meetings are badly facilitated and how to plan for an online training workshop.
Free Facilitators Q and A online session
Purpose: to share our collective intelligence in helping us to navigate the change.
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Apr 29, 2020 05:00 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Please also add any questions in the comments below.
Have a great Thursday, Simone