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How to bring the best of lockdown into your work

How to bring the best of lockdown into your work

Many of us have fresh experiences of working from home. And while #WFH will remain a trendy hashtag for a long time yet, some of us will be making the journey back to shared offices. Wouldn’t it be great if we could hold onto the best elements from our domestic professional arrangements, along with the most valuable aspects of being face-to-face in person again?

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How multiplying your communication channels will get you the results you need

How multiplying your communication channels will get you the results you need

When we are not face-to-face with each other in real rooms, we can lose people’s attention very easily. Participants drift away mentally – and who knows what happens when the camera is turned off? So the quality of input drops and the work suffers. Yet there are really simple ways to engage and sustain people’s attention on a topic…

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Participants resisting your training activities? It could be the size of the steps

Participants resisting your training activities? It could be the size of the steps

One of my colleagues was preparing to facilitate a corporate event for 200 or so people in a conference room, and she was worried.
She wanted to lead them through a physical activity in random pairs, in which the partners would alternate a count to 3. It’s a classic improvisational warm-up activity designed to generate experiences of connection…

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How to banish ‘Zoom Fatigue’ and bring energy back to your meetings

How to banish ‘Zoom Fatigue’ and bring energy back to your meetings

We’re told that people are getting ‘Zoom Fatigue’, which results in meetings that lack energy and get too little accomplished.

When people are logged-in to one monotonous meeting after another, each one demanding intense concentration, it’s no surprise they are switching off. Switching off their cameras, sound and engagement.

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How to juggle content and processes, without getting overwhelmed

How to juggle content and processes, without getting overwhelmed

As a facilitator, your attention is dragged in at least three different directions – towards the content, the process and the people.
It’s your responsibility to look after all these dimensions. But, for a whole range of reasons, there are times when your participants are no longer on-board. No matter how clever the…

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How can we transform meetings from deadly dull to valuable and vibrant?

How can we transform meetings from deadly dull to valuable and vibrant?

Too many face-to-face meetings, workshops and conferences are bitterly disappointing. Poorly structured, ineptly hosted and devoid of either energy or results, they leave you wondering why the event took place at all.
And, particularly since the arrival of Covid, the same is true of online events.
Of course, we do know why these events take place.

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A good way to finish an online call – Virtual Facilitation #10

A good way to finish an online call – Virtual Facilitation #10

What’s a good way to finish an online call and ensure that you end with a continued (or increased) sense of engagement, and bring a feeling of completion?

This is my adaptation of an activity I learned at a recent gathering of Oxford University alumni.

“We’re all familiar with emojis? Yes!

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Why turn-taking is so important online – Virtual Facilitation #9

Why turn-taking is so important online – Virtual Facilitation #9

Turn-taking was and is a prominent part of a meeting, whether off-line or online.

When we used to meet face to face in the same rooms with each other, we all knew whose turn it was. It was always the turn of the next most confident or senior speaker – unless the meeting was facilitated to allow others to step in as part of the process. Establishing a talking order is…

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Include quick warmups – Virtual Facilitation #8

Include quick warmups – Virtual Facilitation #8

Why should you include quick warmups at the start of online calls?

1 They help familiarise everyone with the technology. Then it’s less likely that people will feel excluded or marginalised.

For example, here’s a simple warmup which works well with larger groups…If the technology allows it, invite participants to…

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Simple activities for Zoom

Simple activities for Zoom

You can easily get inventive with simple activities on Zoom. This picture from a London meeting of the Applied Improvisation Network illustrates a quick game, based on ‘Where’s Wally?’ and retitled for our gang as ‘Point to Peter’.
With everyone preferably in Gallery View or equivalent, the facilitator names one person and everyone points to the area of the screen in which that person appears.

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Who decides what’s the New Normal?

Who decides what’s the New Normal?

What will our new normal look like? As we adjust to a world containing Covid19, there are many ideas about what’s going to be different and what will stay the same. We experience whatever we’ve always called ‘normal’ as the flow of millions of interpersonal exchanges. Pre-Covid, life, more or less, went on. Then suddenly with the pandemic a significant…

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