• Knowledge of each other
• A common framework around styles and strengths to provide knowledge and understanding; even though we have a preference, we are able to adjust our approach/style to be with others
• Knowing what works and what doesn’t
Key to successful virtual conversations is leaving time to:
• Breakout and connect with others in a smaller group setting in meaningful dialogue.
• Incorporate silence and a reflective pause so that people can think and capture ideas. If you are incorporating silence, be specific as to how long you will be silent for. Consider setting a chime or alarm on your phone so everyone can relax into the experience.
• Get things done. Virtual retreats, or virtual co-working sprints like the 21 for 21 Virtual Co-working Sprints, are a powerful way to work in real-time.
• Clarify what’s been agreed to and what next steps are.
• Write things down. We continue to see that the act of writing creates new neural pathways in the brain, reinforcing learning in a way typing does not. This might involve having people keep a journal or take notes by hand on a worksheet. To a lesser extent, annotation also helps to make the conversation more kinesthetic.
• Get people moving. Many new virtual team members and leaders are able to move around. With “sitting becoming the new smoking,” it’s essential that in the shift to virtual work, we are also encouraging a healthy workplace. This could involve building in more kinesthetic and activity-based virtual exercises, i.e., sending materials to be printed and having team members post these, standing up and moving to different sheets as they go (consider a SWOT).
(Excerpt: Reconnecting Workspaces, page 111, © Jennifer Britton, All Rights Reserved, 2021).
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