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Gathering Together Virtually – Ways that Work

by | Dec 15, 2020

Camera eyeYou’ve attended MANY virtual meetings/events during this year ranging from great, productive, and/or fun to horrible, boring and/or unproductive. You’ve lead many of these programs/events and we won’t ask which ones!

And, now, in mid-December of 2020, you’re probably going to lead or be a part of holiday family virtual gatherings.

Here are some ways to make your professional and social virtual events even more productive/positive, according to Priya Parker, the author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters.

Establish a thoughtful structure ahead of time. Zoom is not the gatherer – not the host – zoom is a place with little context. What do you want to gain from this gathering? Share these goals with your team or family.

Create a pre-meeting 5-minute “lobby time”. In “real time” you’d enter a room for your “real meeting”. Rooms have context – a door creates a demarcation. You enter the room and chat with others for a few minutes. In our virtual world add in this lobby time by having a question posted like, “What’s one thing you’ve done differently during Covid?” OR “What’s been your best virtual gathering?”

Understand the power of the mute button. Pre-Covid – people’s side comments created lots of data. When we mute online during a virtual meeting we sterilize the environment. How can you use the chat and participate tools to reinvigorate these rich (now currently) muted moments?

It’s up to you to navigate norms for online gatherings. They don’t have to be unproductive or boring.


Source: Brene’ Brown’s “Unlocking Us” Podcast –with Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering, 11.24.20.

Special thanks to @MarkBridgePlayer for sharing this podcast with me.

© 2020 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved


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