From time zone differences, to language differences, different technical backgrounds, and geographic differences, working in the virtual space often expands the diversity of those in the room. It’s not uncommon for most virtual conversations to vary on these different areas, along with many more – gender, race, sexual orientation, social identity, as well as the different thinking and learning styles, and ways we interact with the world.
For example, some of us need more time for reflection that others. Some of us may be learning by doing (kinesthetic) while others learn by hearing (auditory) or seeing (visual).
As a leader, facilitator or virtual host, what are you doing to ensure that you are incorporating a variety of techniques to bring all different voices in the room?
Consider these tips:
- Mix it up to ensure that you are incorporating approaches for different learning styles. For those that like visuals and learn that way, what images (versus text) can you incorporate? Might you include a video?
- For those that have a kinesthetic preference, what can you do to make the call more interactive and physically active? Can you incorporate annotation? What can you do to ensure that there might be some movement (safely!)?
- For those that learn auditorily (by listening), what can you do to incorporate more opportunities for virtual breakouts, dialogue and small group sharing?
Another dynamic you will encounter is those who are possibly dialing in by phone, and those on the web that can see each other. Consider what you are doing to speak to group members from both locations. If people cannot see others (i.e. dialing in by phone), I will usually get them to go first, to connect them in more quickly.
Geographically, what’s important to consider? Are you moving West to East, East to West, South to North, and North to South?
If group members on the call speak different first languages, what can you do to incorporate more visuals, and/or written prompts so people who have stronger reading ability can follow that rather than spoken words?
What else is important to note?
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