For quite some time already, workshops and meetings have been converted into online settings. Additionally, Christmas parties, coffee breaks and other informal get-togethers, which are important for teams and their cooperation, had to be canceled. But in both, online and face 2 face settings, you teams need to know each other, get along well, trust and understand each other in order to be able to successfully collaborate. Even though It is out of question, that the quality of online meetings and workshops has clearly improved during the last one and half years, team building in particular is still a challenge in online settings. As already mentioned, it is important that meeting participants develop a sense of togetherness and team spirit. The more important it is not to forget to plan sufficient space and time and to consider which formats and methods are adequate to support team-building in online settings. To do so there are various approaches and tools for this. Here are some hints:

  • Getting to know each other in online settings: For instance, at welcome rounds, we advise to ask the participants to turn on their cameras. An option is to invite them to grasp symbols or things they show in the camera, which are important for them, or which are representing a topic and theme of the workshop. It is always interesting what people associate and bring to the workshop or meeting. Additionally, this way of introduction round already warms participants for further sessions.

  • Visualization of commonalities: With the help of a list of online whiteboard tools, groups can find commonalities and visualize them. Through this approach, participants can find commonalities beyond the business context. This helps the group to form and later perform successfully.

  • Collect pictures of your participants and use them: already before the meeting or workshop takes place, participants can send pictures of themselves, which can further be used in introduction sessions. Having a face to a name makes it easier to remember the people.

  • Common goals and values: also in online settings it is important, that the groups commonly agree on goals but it is also supportive to define common values and document them. The clarification of common expectations, discussion of fears and insecurities and having clear common goals, strengthen trust within the group.

Of course, there are many further ideas and even software like Miro offer templates, which are absolutely worth having a look at. There one can find new ideas for interactive introduction rounds or methods helping the group to warm up and to build trust among the participants. When designing the meeting or workshop, we suggest to choose methods and strategies to make the team work solution oriented. Additionally, it is important that there is sufficient time planned to clarify possible misunderstanding and to build up the necessary trust. It is a goal that all participants feel comfortable and safe to bring in his or her skills and that all participants take responsibility for their commonly agreed goals and results.

In summary, it is a fact that team building is key for all workshops, no matter if it takes place in face to face settings or online settings. It always has to be well planned and time for team building activities must be allocated.

#teambuilding #gemeinsam #onlineworkshops #onlinemeetings #onlinemoderation #parkourworkshops

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Summer is coming to an end, the days get shorter and cooler. This time of the year is perfect to take walks and hikes. The right time to take people out to nature and plan walkshops. But what does it take for a successful walkshop, especially in autumn? Here is a quick summary of five most important points to keep in mind:

  1. Before planing the walkshop, it is important to clarify the extent of the walking or hiking tour, to make sure that it is suitable for the workshop group. The exercise should be comfortable for everyone involved and, above all, be fun. You can only work well in a relaxed atmosphere.

  2. In any case, you have to do a test walk or hike beforehand to be able to find the right tour for the participants and to adapt your walkshop format to the tour.

  3. The weather can change quickly and it can happen that sun is expected, but the group is surprised by a change in the weather. Therefore, moderators just like participants should be equipped with the appropriate equipment. Additionally, it is important to clarify with the participants in advance that you will be working outdoors and that you can plan and prepare a lot, but the weather is not in your hands.

  4. Sufficient rest areas are needed along the way, where participants can come together, exchange their ideas and write down what they have discussed while walking. In autumn it is advisable to choose a path with huts, café places, or covered resting places; in summer or on short walks in fair weather, you can also bring picnic blankets or use benches with or without tables in a park.

  5. You should make sure that there are enough opportunities to collect thoughts and results and that you have enough material such as pens, moderation cards, clip boards, etc. in your luggage.

We always enjoy working with groups outdoors. Autumn is a wonderful time for it. We are happy to support and design your walkshops or advise you on the planning. Just contact us :)!

#walkshop #walkandtalk #workshops #facilitation #freshairfreshthoughts #parkourworkshops

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After more than a year and a half of online encounters in different formats, we do still notice that some key principles of online moderation very often are hardly reflected. So here find a few key things to consider that we deem very important:

  1. Online meetings differ from face-to-face meetings. Keep them short and plan sufficient breaks

  2. It is a challenge to maintain concentration in online settings. Plan sessions as concise as possible, with a clear agenda and envisioned outcomes. Keep the meeting lively and interactive and avoid long presentations

  3. Although people are already familiar with the tool, still technical issues can occur. Plan in sufficient time for technical testing before the meeting starts, so that technical settings work for all participants and you can start in time

  4. A conversation over a cup of coffee is not possible in online rooms. Do not forget the social aspect when designing your meetings. Depending on how well participants already know each other, offer room for personal exchange, by applying methods to combine introduction rounds with informal exchange between participants (e.g. find commonalities, describe the place where you are, what you see outside, etc.) or offer specific sessions for team building.

  5. Visualisation is important! There are a list of digital whiteboard tools, like Miro, MURAL, or google jamboard. Use them! They also provide one of the advantages of online meetings: you can harvest directly the results of working on a shared board and you do not have to spend time afterwards trying to decipher the handwriting of participants ;)

#moderation #meetings #onlinemoderation #onlinefacilitation #onlineworkshops #5keythingsforonlinemoderation #parkourworkshops

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