It’s strengths that pull a team together at times like these.
So, my diary has done an awful lot of ‘calendar jenga’ these last weeks with the recent Covid lockdown here in NZ. People are postponing in-person workshops, wanting to wait until they can get back together. I get it. I really do. But why postpone the important stuff when we have all this amazing technology at our fingertips that enables us to still connect virtually together in a meaningful way?
How do we adapt virtually?
Just because you can’t get together right now, it doesn’t mean you can’t go ahead with connection, belonging and purpose. You wouldn’t postpone the physical essentials – a trip to the supermarket, a meal, a walk around the block, why forgo the mental essentials that build resilience, improve teamwork in the [virtual and physical] workplace, enhance communications and connection and create sustainable action plans of meaningful change. No point postponing this stuff. The rest of the world is managing virtually, so can we New Zealand! We just need to do things differently.
We have to get used to new ways of working, otherwise we’ll continue on a treadmill pattern of ‘let’s wait and see’ and the kiwi classic ‘she’ll come right’. With this attitude it stunts personal growth, we end up stopping investing in the things that our teams really need us to lead, manage and march on towards the future.
You don’t have to be in-person to make real connections happen. Yes, it’s always nice to give your colleagues a hug, and be there face-to-face, sip a cup of coffee together. There’s nothing that replaces in-person connection. But ….what if there’s something better?
I bet you’ve experienced virtual gatherings that tire your brain out, make you yawn and you come away thinking ‘how did I waste an hour of my life listening to that?’.
Well, that’s about to change. Virtual is the new norm people. Get used to it!
What can you do to keep your team engaged virtually?
Through my workshops for teams and individuals that I’ve run virtually these are my learnings:
- Set the intention and purpose – we don’t want to waste our time online. It needs to be purposeful and meaningful to you.
- Facilitate interactions (via chatbox, online whiteboards, flying electronic post-it notes, breakout rooms)
- Use breakout rooms, times for one-on-one connections, and time for group connections.
- Use a smart meeting framework. You’ll cover what you normally cover in person, in half the time.
- You’ll notice that even the quietest members in your team get involved.
- I make virtual fun!
- There’s spaces for reflections, ‘accountability pauses’ and checking-in.
- You go away with something useful that you’ll put into action.
Through my experience I have found in my own programs that the quietest members in your team will get involved before everyone walks away (or logs off!)
And here’s what I expect from you:
- Cameras ON!
- Bring your real self (and if that’s in Ugg boots and PJs with your cat on your lap, that’s fine!)
- Be prepared to interact (you may have heard that it takes 43 muscles to smile, but if you’ve got a couple of jokes to share you can definitely excuse the daily workout! )
- Be prepared for surprises and fun along the way.
- Everyone attends virtually from their own device/laptop (i.e. not a hybrid mix of in-person/virtual attendees).
I think the way the virtual tools worked really made this. Those that worked at short notice to get it up and running should be commended. Loved the whiteboard and breakout rooms, and the way the quiz was played was unique. Will definitely look to as option for future meetings.
Antonia did a fantastic job running our away day in trying circumstances (COVID having cancelled our in person meet up). The day was efficient, useful and all the tools and software used worked very well. I was impressed with how smoothly it ran.
In a time of turbulence, I would love to hear your recommendations on keeping your network strong. Click the link below to get in contact, or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.
Here’s to keeping engaged!
Interested in turning your meetings and workshops into virtual programs and events? Contact me today!