Virtual Workshops Part 2

by

We’ve learned several things about making virtual workshops work as well as possible. I wanted to share a few lessons learned from them. As I mentioned in my previous blog, we used Webex, but these tips should work with any of its competitors.

#1. Get cameras and use them: For any call longer than an hour, cameras make a huge difference. Seeing who you are talking to adds fidelity to the conversation–body language, distractions, etc. Before kicking of these workshops, we sent the participants a planning email to let them know that we expected them to be on camera. Not all did, but for those that did use their cameras, there was a noticeable increase in the quality of the conversation and the results. In the future, I think I would make cameras mandatory.

#2. Use multiple screens: If you’ve used Webex or some of its peers in the past, you’ve probably heard someone say something like this: “Can you transfer control to me? Let me see, Can you see my screen yet? No? Well let me try this. How about now? No? It sure is running slow today.” These tools don’t make it easy to see what the other participants on the call are seeing. To solve this problem, we ended up having the workshop leader join Webex twice: once as a leader and once as a participant (on two different computers). This allowed us to see what everyone in remote locations was seeing and to avoid the annoying distracting conversation about who could see what. It also allowed for better viewing of the cameras from the remote participants.

#3. Land Line: I wanted desperately to be able to use my iPhone on the AT&T network for these calls, mainly because it has a nice headset which is crucial if you’re going to be on a call for a long time. But, repeatedly, it was my iPhone (or AT&T . . . its hard to tell which) that was the weakest link on the call: static, poor voice quality, call dropping, etc. In fact halfway through this series of workshops, I had to run out and by a headset for a landline. The improvement in quality was stunning . . . and it has in fact made me more aware of the reduction in voice quality generally on the iPhone/AT&T solution.

Do you have any tips to share?

READ MORE

The Leadership Dog Years

The Leadership Dog Years

As a business leader, I feel like I’ve been living in dog years — so much has happened that this year feels more like seven. In the spring, our company — like many others — had to throw out our annual plans and quickly pivot to new ones. In the summer, we increased...

read more
Shifting Perspectives: 3 Learnings From a 3-Day Training

Shifting Perspectives: 3 Learnings From a 3-Day Training

About a week ago, I completed the second live (virtual) training in the process of becoming a Certified Professional Coach through iPEC. Once again, my mind was blown! It reinforced for me that virtual workshops can, and do, work, and, in a lot of ways, I prefer them...

read more
Finding My Work-Life Balance

Finding My Work-Life Balance

In my previous post, I told the story of how I got back into consulting after becoming a mom. All of the diverse experiences I had during that journey have helped me to find my work-life balance by… Defining Boundaries “Go home,” my first boss said 12 years back —...

read more
How I Got Back to Work After Being a Full-Time Mom

How I Got Back to Work After Being a Full-Time Mom

I Landed My Dream Job Throwback to 2014, I had completed my MBA, landed my dream job as a consultant, and was hoping that my new consulting career would exponentially ramp up my career growth for the next 5 years. This would position me to take on critical decision...

read more
Self-Awareness is Key to Belonging

Self-Awareness is Key to Belonging

In August of this year, as part of our annual company meeting, our team at Thought Ensemble participated in the foundational session of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training led by Dr. Nika White, IOM, CDE (she/her/hers). One of the most meaningful moments...

read more
Finding Your Organization’s Magic Pixie Dust

Finding Your Organization’s Magic Pixie Dust

It is often said that organizational culture is like a fog — it is all around us; it impacts our ability to see, to move quickly, and to deliver; but we cannot quite put our finger on it. Indeed, some organizations see their culture as a byproduct of operations,...

read more
We’ve Refreshed Our Brand!

We’ve Refreshed Our Brand!

Why have we refreshed our brand, you ask? Well, as we have grown and matured as an organization, we felt that our previous brand elements no longer represented us as well as they could. You see, we founded Thought Ensemble back in 2008 to help companies better compete...

read more
Thought Ensemble’s Purpose — Inspired in 2020

Thought Ensemble’s Purpose — Inspired in 2020

I recently wrote about how company purpose is being tested and inspired by all the events of 2020. This topic is very real for us at Thought Ensemble. We’ve been thinking a lot about what really matters as we’ve navigated the challenges of this year. While we’ve had...

read more