One of the things I enjoy about starting a New Year is planning the diary and shaping the year ahead. Reflecting back, I realised the biggest shift in my diary is the use of virtual technology. My calendar this year contains lots of virtual meetings, learning webinars and virtual classroom delivery. And colleagues are starting to use video messaging for a quick call, rather than audio alone.
I confess I had some initial resistance – mainly driven by the recognition that I had to ensure I had the right software and hardware to hand (and knew how to use it!). But having got the hang of it, I love the ability to read body language in meetings and avoiding the conference call stutterings, as either several people talk at once or no-one speaks at all! I feel more connected to people when I can see them. Not to mention all benefits of reduced travel time and cost.
And I’m loving that virtual learning has enabled us to think creatively about activities and energisers when delegates aren’t in the same physical environment. One of my favourites is a 360 of different people’s home offices. A great way to get to know people through their environment … although that too can strike fear when delegates realise they’ve the clothes airer in the corner with the week’s washing for all to see…. 🙂
It’s not always plain sailing. Yes, there can be glitches and it’s not perfect. Dodgy WIFI, different functionality from different operating systems (and who hasn’t experienced a call with children/animals/the home cleaner making an appearance in error!) However, I reckon a bit of patience, humour and willingness to experiment go a long way in the virtual world.
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