If you find this article useful, have you seen our Free Facilitator’s Kit for Virtual Meetings ?
This article is one of the Advanced Behaviours in our 3Bs Virtual Kit of Basics, Behaviours and Bag of Tools to help leaders facilitate great virtual meetings. There are more advanced tools that you may be interested in too, such as Breakout Rooms and Annotations for prioritizing.
Our cheat sheet for each of the Rackham Green behaviours. Click each one to reveal the options
Seeking facts or opinions, normally by asking a question
- On agenda items: Add key questions so people can arrive already thinking
- Use the chatbox to pose questions.
Be clear about where you would like responses i.e. chat, dialogue etc.
- Three options to create a helpful system:
Spin-round – speak in an agreed order
Popcorn – people pop when they are compelled/ready to pop
Pass – last person to speak nominates the next
Catches a proposal and ‘supports’ that it was made
- Label it
It’s easy for proposals to get lost in the virtual world so be bold and say the words “I support that proposal”.
- Use the chatbox to show support that stands out, maybe even a thumbs up emoji.
- Ask the proposer to say more, this option sends support and encouragement or the proposer to go further.
- If the conversation has moved on, link it back, “before we move on, going back to Joanna’s idea, I’d like to hear more…”
- Labelled Shut-out
You may need to do a labelled shut out in the virtual world to do this, “excuse me, can I just test my understanding…..”
Otherwise the conversation may have moved too far along
- Facilitation Question
Deliberately create an expectation to test understanding by asking for “Are there any questions for clarification?” post giving information or proposing
Restates earlier contributions in compact form
- Ask someone to do a live summary on a slide or in the chatbox as someone speaks/presents
- Ask towards the end “Would anyone like to summarize for us?”.
- Use numbering and headlines verbally or in chat e.g. “so we heard 3 updates from Ben on 1. Timeline 2. Resources 3. Budget.”
Ask at the end of the summary: “Did we catch all the key aspects?”
Adds to a proposal that has been ‘supportively caught’
- Building happens in the same way as it does in the face to face meetings, typically during dialogue.
- To ensure we don’t move on too quickly and lose the opportunity to build the facilitator can specifically invite, what builds do we have on the 3 options on the table?
Invites another person to contribute
- We know how important Bringing-In is in the face to face world, I suggest that it is 10 times more important in the virtual world…. People can all too easily feel unseen/unloved on virtual calls.
- Be sure you can see everyone if you have the camera on.
- Have a list of all participant’s names to hand
- Have your meeting attendee list beside you, put a dot aside each persons name as they talk, a pattern will emerge quickly and you will be able to see who hasn’t said anything/much, you can now be looking for opportunities to bring them in.
- You can also tee someone up in the chat room, e.g. “George, I’d like to hear from you on this too please once Karen has spoken.”