Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0320, October 23, 2007
 
 

Dear friends,
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Communicating and facilitating meetings and relationships online has become something many of us are now accustomed to. We spend a great deal of time online these days dealing with email, responding to and making requests, building collaborations, learning new skills, etc.; time that we once had available for other things! It's no wonder that we sometimes use shorthand in our communication with others in this media. But at what price? In this week's article, "Making it Personal, Virtually" we discuss keys of "netiquette" to facilitate better team relationships in virtual environments.

Facilitating at a Distance. This 5-day teleclass teaches the Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation. This class is for those of you wanting to offer a teleclass but don't feel you have all the skills and knowledge you need to do so, or for managers working with distributed teams that require you to facilitate virtual meetings. Includes a Virtual Collaboration Software Experience! See details at the end of this issue.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis
Publisher and Founder of FacilitatorU.com



 
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The Point


Making it Personal, Virtually
Don't short your emotional bank account in the virtual arena


Intervention Skill


Communicating and facilitating meetings and relationships online has become something many of us are now accustomed to. We spend a great deal of time online these days dealing with email, responding to and making requests, building collaborations, learning new skills, etc.; time that we once had available for other things! It's no wonder that we sometimes use shorthand in our communication with others in this media. But at what price?

Have you ever walked into a room and just started talking to someone with out at least first greeting them with a, "Hi Jill."? Or left a conversation without say goodbye? We wouldn't think of doing this in the person but often do so in our emails with others. Granted, it may be a small point, but notice this when I receive emails like this. I even wonder sometimes, are they talking to me or someone else?


Perhaps we're facilitating a project among a group of peers and just blast off an email to the group when only a fraction of the whole group needs to hear it. This is like being in conversation with someone at a party and yelling out to everyone, "Hey! Let me have your attention please! I want you all to hear about the topic of a lunch meeting Barbara and I are planning."
Huh? Who cares!

As facilitators, we pay particular attention to relationships, processes, and tasks and how best to balance these to our group's benefit. Review the following reminders about bringing our common sense of good relating, communication, and facilitation skills to our virtual environments.



Application


Email Salutation
. Start each email with the person's name you are addressing. We all like to hear our names and it helps to know who the message is actually intended for. Though this isn't always successful. Twice this past week, I received emails from people intended for someone else, also named "Steve"!

Email Valediction. How often have had a conversation with someone and just walked away when you're done? Close each email at least with some sign that you're done and preferably, with your name. It's an easy and simple courtesy.

Who really needs to read this email? We all have way too much email to wade through each day. Pause before sending out an email that you're copying to others. Address them only to those they directly concern. By omitting an email to six people in a group for whom the information is irrelevant saves the time spent reading and considering the email times six! Think how much time is wasted by senders not properly filtering content in this way.

Don't use email to resolve conflict or disagreements. Emails are a great means of communication, but when you move into the terrain of conflict or disagreement, they can often do more harm than good. It's just too easy to lose the intended meaning of the writer in this one dimensional media. I've learned the hard way that once emotions get involved, communication via email normally deteriorates with each subsequent message. When you feel disagreement or negative emotion of any kind in response to an email, it's best to just pick up the phone or go visit this person to seek understanding.

Encourage online contributions. Online groups like listserves and electronic forums are used to enhance group learning, cohesion, and collaboration, and are used by coaches, trainers, managers, and other group leaders. When facilitating online groups, acknowledge and respond to all the posts you can until the group begins to take off on its own. Just as in live groups, more leadership, encouragement, and acknowledgment is required up front to get people self-facilitating.
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Be responsive.
How often have you sent an email asking for a response from a friend or colleague and not heard anything back for days or weeks? Perhaps some people feel they can't respond until they have time to complete the task inherent in the email. But this leaves the sender wondering what happened. It takes little time to reply to an email within a day or two letting the sender know that their message was received and when they can expect a response. With all the spam today, it's easy to miss important emails. This courtesy of acknowledgment helps assure lines of online communication stay open.


Action
 

How can you improve your virtual facilitation? Please click reply and share your comments. I'd love to hear from you.


Resource




Teleclass Facilitation Workbook
Facilitating at a Distance Workbook: The Core Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation
(Instantly Downloadable Ebook)

Have you considered offering a teleclass as a more efficient way to deliver training, enhance group learning and generate more income for your business? 

Or, are you working with a distributed team that requires you to design and facilitate virtual meetings?

When done right, Teleclasses and Virtual Meetings (T/VM) are very effective and inexpensive ways to train, collaborate, and problem-solve. But if they aren't effectively facilitated, T/VM's can be a boring waste of time!

Remove the fear and uncertainty of teleclass/virtual meeting design and facilitation with the workbook that accompanies the 5-day teleclass series: Leading at a Distance: The Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation. Click here for more details and purchase information.

 

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In the Spotlight


Facilitating at a Distance Teleclass: The Essentials of
Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation



Have you considered offering a teleclass as a more efficient way to deliver training, enhance group learning and generate more income for your business? 

Or, are you working with a distributed team that requires you to design and facilitate virtual meetings?

When done right, Teleclasses and Virtual Meetings (T/VM) are very effective and inexpensive ways to train, collaborate, and problem-solve. But if they aren't effectively facilitated, T/VM's can be a boring waste of time!

Remove the fear and uncertainty of teleclass/virtual meeting design and facilitation with this 5-day teleclass series: Leading at a Distance: The Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation, led by Steve Davis, Founder of FacilitatorU.com,
December 3rd-7th, 2007, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time),
60 minutes each day.


This class covers all the elements of T/VM facilitation using a simple, well-organized, and proven approach. This course, that you can take from the comfort of your own home or office, is for facilitators, trainers, coaches, who want to design relevant, engaging, experiential workshops for groups using a simple, proven formula that's easy to apply to any workshop topic.

Learn how to design and run a T/VM that will maximize the use of your group's time and energy. By the end of the 5 days, you will:

  • Have learned the key skills needed to effectively facilitate a Teleclass/Virtual Meeting.
  • Know how to balance interactivity with meeting purpose.  
  • Have a an experience of the 10 modes of delivering learning and information in a virtual environment.
  • Know mistakes to avoid when facilitating your T/VM.
  • Know the 8 Critical Strategies to make your T/VM come alive.
  • Learn the 7 Keys to the Inner Game of T/VM Facilitation.
  • And much more..

Plus Virtual Collaboration Software Experience!

An optional component of this teleclass will include participant interaction on a new collaborative software tool between teleclass sessions. This innovative new tool allows facilitators and trainers to expand their expertise and effectiveness in managing group complexity. It's design preserves the best of human behavior for the purposes of group collaboration and aligns with how people function.

Click here for full details and registration
.

FacilitatorU.com Membership Option

Become a member of FacilitatorU.com premium member and register for this teleclass at half price in addition to a host of other items and benefits. An exceptional value. Click here for details.


About the satisfaction guarantee
If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with this package, simply email us with a request to refund/credit your credit card in the full amount and we will do so immediately. This policy completely removes the buying risk for you and keeps our customer-satisfaction rates extremely high.




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