Are you needing to shift your face-to-face meetings to virtual meetings? For more than ten years we’ve been adapting our visual-facilitation techniques to address our clients’ growing need to convene people in the virtual realm. Virtual meetings have come a long way. What used to be awkward, technically challenged interactions have become humanized, technically stabilized, effective gatherings. And yes, The Grove’s virtual meetings are highly visual, making them so much more engaging than talking heads on computer screens.
So, What Do Successful Virtual Visual Meetings Look Like?
Take a peek at a few of our tried-and-true practices that we’ve adapted for virtual meetings.
Setting the Stage for a Great Meeting
We work with clients to design a session that will fulfill the unique objectives of any meeting. With a plan prepped and in place, we orient participants with the Outcomes, Agenda, Roles, and Rules on a shared screen. The above chart is an example from a meeting that spanned two days, with two-hour sessions each. We’ve found it wise to convene shorter gatherings over multiple days, rather than day-long sessions that can prove more taxing than productive in a virtual setting. [For more tips about preparation see our Grove Best Practice: Virtual Meeting Planning.]
Data Gathering and Information Sharing
Gathering individual input in a virtual meeting used to be rather difficult. Not any more with technological advances in digital workspaces for visual collaboration. We love Mural and find it a wonderful platform to run “all-hands” sessions, allowing every voice to be heard and captured. The above image represents a brainstorming session in which every participant had time to submit his or her ideas on sticky notes. We then clustered similar ideas and facilitated a discussion about the consistent themes. Just like working on the wall with sticky notes, this is an efficient and enlightening process.
Prioritizing and Decision-Making
We combine the use of our visual templates and skilled meeting facilitation with voting capabilities in Mural to help groups prioritize. Again, this visual approach makes for high participation, and results in a visual record of decisions made.
Graphic Recording of Virtual Meetings
We also support virtual meetings with graphic recording using tablet technology. As a meeting unfolds, skilled graphic recorders capture key points to aid meeting participants in understanding and remembering discussions. These visuals create a shared point of reference for dispersed participants, enabling them to sustain focus and produce effective results in a shorter time. The above image shows a sample from a virtual meeting in which a graphic recorder partnered with a facilitator.
How Do I Get Help Running Virtual Meetings?
The Grove is available to facilitate and/or graphically record your virtual session. We run the full gamut of virtual meetings to support all sorts of planning, alignment, and team needs. Our practices allow people to collaborate successfully across functions, cultures, and time zones. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work with you to design and deliver a memorable virtual session.
We can also help you develop your skills. In true Grove fashion, we share what we know in our Facilitating Virtual Collaboration workshop. Training dates are available this spring and summer.