This winter I am sharing some of the different skill sets masterful virtual facilitators use in their work, whether they are running a webinar, virtual team meeting, or conference call. In my last two posts I have shared skill sets #1 - Setting Everyone Up for Success and #2 - Communication.
Today we are going to quickly look at the third bucket of skills masterful virtual facilitators bring which are Process Skills.
This includes skills in:
· Co-creating the focus
· Defining success
· Selecting tools
· Managing the process
Process skills make a virtual conversation flow, or stagnate!
First, we want to make sure that the focus of the call or conversation is clear. Who is defining it? The facilitator if it's training, or the group if it's a coaching conversation? In the virtual space it's likely that the conversation host will be using process to help frame the conversation. Taking time to get to know the people you are working with pre-virtual conversation is essential. This might entail a questionnaire, a pre-call or other touch point to confirm what the focus of the conversation might be).
In many virtual events, practitioners will need to co-create the focus with the group on the call, as well as define what success will look like for the group, especially if it is the start of a longer series of conversations. A couple of approaches you will want to consider to mine for ideas are:
Using annotation and having everyone write up their top one or two themes
Using chat to share their interest or question about the topic
Using breakouts for smaller groups to generate a list (top 3 or top 5)
The amount of time spent on this will depend on what kind of virtual conversation you are hosting, the purpose and intent.
Tools and processes are a virtual facilitator's best friend. It's often said that we can't have too many tools (but we can try to use too many tools in one conversation!). Chapter 7 of Effective Virtual Conversations focuses on more than 24 different tools and approaches you will want to equip yourself with. As a professional, when was the last time you took stock of the different tools you had available or in your toolbox already. This is a quick 15 minute activity which professionals can find useful on a regular basis - pausing and making a list, or running through the bookshelf, computer or filing cabinet for what you actually already have resources around.
I've done a number of EVC Community calls which relate to this topic including:
Moving the Needle on Engagement
Tools for Opening and Closing
I hope that you will check them out.
Enjoy your week!
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Looking to enhance your virtual conversations - Conference calls? Webinars? Virtual coaching work? Pick up a copy of my new book, Effective Virtual Conversations, at Amazon.
Great news! The Virtual Facilitation Essentials program has been reviewed and approved by the International Coach Federation for 8.5 hours of Continuing Coach Education (5.5 hours core competencies). Looking to boost your virtual skills and want a booster around the basics? Join us for this 5 week interactive webinar learning experience. The next group starts Friday February 23rd at 1:15 pm ET (calls are 5 Fridays from 1:15-2:30 pm Eastern/Toronto)
For Coaches: The Coaching Biz Growth Lab - a three month group focused on your coaching business growth. Next group kicks off early March and runs for three months. Other groups will start Spring and Summer 2018.
Group Coaching Essentials (8.75 CCEs) starts again Friday March 2nd at 1015 am ET and will be held March 2, 9, 23, April 6 and 13th. This program is ideal for coaches who want to create their own group coaching programs and processes.
Join Effective Virtual Conversations Author Jennifer Britton for regular posts to spark your ideas and conversations virtually!
Virtual Facilitation Essentials: Winter 2018: Fridays 1:15 - 2:30 pm ET: February 23, March 2, 9, 23, April 6, 2018 (5 weeks)
Learning Lab and Design Studio meets throughout 2018 on every 2 Fridays from 8:45 -930 am ET. Join us for a month or the year. February's focus is on video based learning, March on Building Your Toolkit.
Group Coaching Essentials (8.75 CCEs); Fridays 10:15 -11:30 am ET: March 1 - April 13 (no calls March 16 or 30)