|At the desk...Photo J Britton|
1. Priming people for learning: Setting up our group and team members for maximum engagement is What do you want to do to "prime" people for learning?
2. Building connection - in a virtual environment it is important to build connection amongst individuals and with the coach/facilitator as early as possible. Pre-calls with each learner start the connection process for a facilitator. What can you incorporate to build connection amongst participants? What additional visual elements can you incorporate? What will give the greatest impact in building connection amongst your group members?
3. Engage regularly - in an in-person environment it's often recommended that you change the pace every 7-10 minutes through switching activities. In a virtual environment engagement and pace changes can be even more important. Make use of breakout opportunities (possible if you use services such as Maestro Conferencing or FreeConferenceCalling.com). You may also get people to write things down, or share in a larger group. Have people use the chat function if you are on a webinar. Check in regularly with your group to see how the pace is working with them. What approaches do you want to use in engaging your learners?
4. Less is More- You may find that it takes longer to cover topics in the virtual domain than an in-person environment. Factor in transition times if you are having people move to a virtual breakout. What are the components of the content that can be put aside, and perhaps moved into post-work, or a resource list?
What other tips would you offer for others in running successful virtual programs? Which of these one areas do you want to focus on as you move forward with your work? For those that have my latest book - From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching, you will want to take a look at Chapter 7 - Virtual Program Design and Delivery. Enjoy!
Have a great week,
Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, CPCC, PCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
GroupCoachingEssentials.com - Our next Group Coaching Essentials program starts by phone Tues 12/3 at 3 pm ET - 6.75 CCEs (which you can complete before the end of the year)