High angle view of French bulldog and one Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy sitting in a circle, looking up at the camera on a white background.
Hello friends, it’s been a while! After my last trips to Alabama and Toronto in March 2020, I shoved my travelling-facilitator suitcase to the back of the closet, as COVID-19 swept the world. Since then, like many of you, I’ve found myself developing “Resting Zoom Face” after facilitating or attending literally hours of back-to-back virtual meetings. All this collective screen time can nourish collaboration and connectivity – or it can suck a person’s life force. In my quest for more of the former, I’ve been gathering tips and tricks and am excited to share them. From my facilitator whiteboard to yours, here are 10 principles and tips for making virtual gatherings more effective, engaging and life-giving. If you’re hungry for more detailed tips, strategies and sample activities, click here for the full 12-page article.
Top 10 Principles and Tips for Virtual Meetings
- Make the meeting count: don’t meet if you don’t have to
- Keep it short: Maximum 2 hours max, with breaks
- Less is more – shift one-way “content” to pre-reading/pre-watching where possible
- Basic facilitation skills still apply: active listening, reflection, excellent questions, tracking threads, ensuring shared airtime
- Make it super-interactive: use breakouts, chats, polls, hands, virtual brainstorms
- Invite the whole person: encourage physical movement, presence, feelings, story-telling and visualizations
- Start strong: acknowledge locations and context, handle introductions with care, and bring participant voices in early
- Share documentation: consider collective online note-taking
- Don’t do it alone; work with a team
- Communicate clearly in advance and again at the start, including the link, password, time, instructions, purpose and outcomes of the meeting and the agenda
How do you build a collaborative team that can work across difference, adapt to change and unleash their creative potential? I’m thrilled to be teaching “Building Collaborative Teams” as part of Simon Fraser University’s Executive Leadership program, part of Continuing Studies. In addition to the face-to-face offering each Fall, we’re now offering it as an online course starting March 11, 2019, and running for six weeks. Learn with other senior leaders from diverse sectors and organizations. There are still a few spaces left! Register soon to save your spot: http://at.sfu.ca/NxSWZK
There are still a few seats left for the second course in the 8-month Executive Leadership Certificate program at Simon Fraser University’s downtown Vancouver campus next week, Oct. 25-27th, 2018. We’ll be exploring core leadership mindsets, specific skills and tools, and case studies drawn from the group and instructor. Topics include navigating differences across a team in terms of power, rank, equity and bias; effective listening skills; story-telling as a key skill for aligning teams; giving and receiving skillful feedback; difficult conversations; tools for decision-making and accountability; and addressing specific leadership and team challenges. One nice feature of these courses is that several participants are taking all five courses in the entire certificate program (this is the second course for this year’s cohort), others can get a taste by diving into individual courses. Here’s a short video about the course. Click here for more information about cost, schedule and the application process for the entire 9-month certificate program, or here to learn more about next week’s course or module on Collaborative Teams for High Impact.
Once again, Anima Leadership in Toronto is offering an outstanding line-up of trainings this Fall. Given my own focus on power, I’m really excited about participating in one of them next month: a 3-day seminar on “Coaching for Power Intelligence”, centered on developing the effective use of power by leaders using the new Diamond Power Index, developed by Dr. Julie Diamond. As the Anima team describes it, “this is an essential assessment tool for anybody wanting to correct leader’s unconscious use of power including: pulling rank, gossiping, bragging, taking credit, fostering unhealthy competition, not taking responsibility, etc. This is the Myers-Briggs of our generation.” One option is to participate in the first 1.5 days of the seminar. The entire three-day training covers the background and research underlying the instrument, how to administer the test, how to interpret scores and reports, how to coach and train leaders and leadership teams, as well as marketing support for using it in organizations. Successful completion of the seminar will result in certification for using the assessment
How do you build a high-performing team? Join me at SFU Continuing Studies in beautiful downtown Vancouver for an intensive leadership course from November 2-4. Learn alongside leaders from business, tech, government, non-profits and other sectors as we explore essential skills for giving and receiving feedback, addressing conflict, strengthening our power intelligence, clarifying accountability and more, all in support of leading effective teams. Space is limited, so be sure to to register soon:
Building Collaborative Teams for High Impact
November 2 – 4, 2017
8:30 am – 5:30 pm • SFU Vancouver
I’m thrilled to be an instructor and curriculum designer for this exciting new program offered by Simon Fraser University! It launches in the early Fall of 2017, and seats are expected to fill. The non-residential program, based out of SFU’s downtown Vancouver campus, is designed for working professionals. Over 9 months, through face to face gatherings, tele-conferences and coaching, the program offers a host of hands-on skills, frameworks and practice that will sharpen the skills of leaders from a range of industries and sectors, from business to not-for-profit. The program is also being offered as a series of individual modules, to make it more accessible. It’s made the news, too: here’s a great article by the Georgia Strait from an interview I did two weeks ago. Click here for more information about cost, schedule and the application process for either the individual courses or the entire 9-month certificate program.