- Connect people quickly to the topic
- Connect people quickly to each other
- Help people see the common ground amongst themselves
#1 - First, we want to connect people quickly to the topic. This is usually referred to as the WIIFM or WHAT’s In IT For ME? This helps to create focus and avoids the multi-tasking mindset that can slip in.
Questions could involve:
- What’s your biggest opportunity around __ (insert topic)?
- What’s important about ___ (insert topic)?
#2 – Connecting people to each other
Connecting people quickly to each other helps establish trust and safety across the group. Depending on the context it will also be an important part of the process of learning and discussion after the event.
Questions might include:
- What is an example you have around ____ (insert topic)?
- What is one resource you would like to recommend to each other?
#3 – Common Ground
Helping people see the common ground or connections across their work is also important in a virtual setting. Even if we think we are varied, in fact, we may be more similar than we think.
Ways to find common ground:
- Asking the group – What do you notice about the areas of commonality which exist across the group?
- You could put up a photo on the screen and ask to have people share what they see.
- You could have people map themselves along a continuum - for example, on a scale of 1-10, where do you see yourself?
- You could also poll people for their input.
For more resources on this please check out Chapter 7 of Effective Virtual Conversations OR pick up a copy of the 20 Focus Areas for Virtual and Remote Team Development – pick up a copy here.
Enjoy your exploration!
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), PlanDoTrack (2019) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
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