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How to start your virtual meeting – Virtual Facilitation #2

How to start your virtual meeting – Virtual Facilitation #2

Most virtual meeting systems offer a waiting room, where you can hold your participants until you are ready to begin.

It can put a lot of pressure on you to have to get straight into the substance of the meeting, precisely at the advertised time. So using a virtual waiting room can provide a gentle. You can let participants enter as they arrive…

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Good enough tech skills – Virtual Facilitation #1

Good enough tech skills – Virtual Facilitation #1

You don’t have to be a technology wizard to be a great facilitator of online calls but you do need to have good enough tech skills. You need to know just enough to ensure you don’t let technical shortcomings hamper…

Given basic technical competence, the art then is to exploit the difference in medium – to raise engagement, productivity or intimacy…

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Virtual Facilitation: What works well online?

Virtual Facilitation: What works well online?

What works well online is not simply a matter of taking what works well offline and hoping for the best.

It’s not a bad idea for starters, as many principles and practices are directly transferable. But you also need to be aware of what’s possible – and not possible – in each medium. As the context changes, so do the interactions. I’ve been on virtual calls…

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How to build the skills and confidence of your learners

How to build the skills and confidence of your learners

Whether you are teaching online or off, there’s a crucial difference between building skills and pointing out people’s deficiencies.

Even if your approach is founded on developing what works, while alerting your learners to mistakes here and there, you may wonder what to do about students who believe you are not teaching them properly unless…

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Facilitation: 10 tips on how to make the space safer

Facilitation: 10 tips on how to make the space safer

During a recent webinar on facilitation trends, I asked a group of practitioners for their tips on making space safer. Here are our top ten:

1. Articulate goals and expectations upfront and early, so everyone is clear about what we’re there to do.

2. To keep it constructive and relevant, ask ‘What needs to happen here today for it to be useful to you?’

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A creative activity to give you fresh impetus with a problem or project

A creative activity to give you fresh impetus with a problem or project

If you are stuck with a problem or want to generate new ideas for a project, here’s a great activity to prompt fresh thinking. It’s also a handy way to banish writers’ block. Here’s what I wrote in a recent workshop, led by Trevor Day for the AMED Writers Group. Trevor provided a selection of objects for us on a table.

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Why you are losing out by irrational risk-aversion

Why you are losing out by irrational risk-aversion

We all love behavioural economics, right? With their clever psychological experiments, counterintuitive insights and wonderful nudges, they throw fresh revelatory light onto our thinking and behaviour. Take for instance risk-aversion. The key insight in several of the books I’ve been perusing is that we tend to be risk-averse for gains…

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Your problem with group brainstorming isn’t creativity…

Your problem with group brainstorming isn’t creativity…

How many of us have been part of a bad brainstorm? But what if it’s not about the group but about how ‘bursty’ it is? And how can improvisation create burstiness? Creativity comes in bursts. Well, that’s according to the Adam Grant podcast ‘WorkLife’, in which he visited Trevor Noah and ‘The Daily Show’…

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Facilitation trends for the 2020s

Facilitation trends for the 2020s

Demand for facilitation is rising. There’s clear value in a range of applications, from quite simple meetings, through to group sessions, to conference sessions or even entire conferences.

And as leaders in organisations grow aware of this, it creates opportunities for internal and external facilitators to help groups to have more constructive conversations and reach better (and often faster) outcomes.

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What do you want to celebrate? Please, not mistakes!

What do you want to celebrate? Please, not mistakes!

There may be some good arguments for celebrating mistakes, but the fact that they lead on occasion to good outcomes is not one of them.

The occasional good dictator is not an argument against democracy, and doesn’t mean we should start celebrating military coups because now and again we’ll be blessed with another good dictator.

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Embracing Uncertainty

Embracing Uncertainty

Much of what happens in work, either day to day or over the length of your working life, is unpredictable. It is subject to emergence – what happens as it happens, in a space of uncertainty. There is little value in pretending you know what the result will be when you don’t. An improvisational attitude invites you to trade the illusion of control for the reality of influence.

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Three tips to increase beautiful layering in meetings, workshops and conferences

Three tips to increase beautiful layering in meetings, workshops and conferences

Layering is the idea of having more than one thing going on at one time in a meeting, workshop or conference. For example, displaying posters on the wall is an example of a layer beyond people simply talking to each other. Each extra layer added to a meeting, workshop or conference also provides an opportunity for the layers to be combined in new activities.

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