22 Oct · 5 min read
As we enter the pandemic’s twilight, remote working environments have vowed to take a perpetual seat. Hybrid meetings certainly have aided the ease of communication.
A hybrid meeting is the budded solution in this new normal, post covid. They combine live face-to-face encounters with virtual interactions. Instead of going fully physical or virtual, it is an amalgam of both. Hybrid working environments are seemingly filling the void left by the lack of physical interactions in 2020.
According to an Accenture survey, around 83% of participants (employees) believe the hybrid working environments to be compatible for optimal usage.
If you are a facilitator who is searching struggling to contribute to this hybrid culture, here are 10 facilitation techniques to create engaging hybrid meetings:
If you are a new facilitator on board, begin by taking steps to familiarize yourself with the technical setup, reviewing practical instructions to share with participants, and understanding how you wish to split the participants into groups.
Pick a common digital context platform available to all lest no one will have to keep shifting from one application or window to another and risk getting interrupted and distracted from the meeting.
As you might be having all the information and materials priorly, you can conduct some pre-meeting rounds to let it be known to your participants that exactly the actual meeting holds.
This could be a short intro in the meeting’s theme, some pre-meeting questions, or collecting participants’ suggestions about their expectations regarding the meeting.
Use the benefit of seamlessly permeable barriers with regards to the number of people to attend a hybrid meeting to your full advantage.
A second facilitator can be responsible for using digital tools, online networks and monitoring possible problems from a remote location, while the third one can handle the queries.
Larger groups mean work can be completed within one go instead of going to every small chain.
Oftentimes declined with the excuse of being a waste of time; the check-in of the participants has been underestimated for quite a while now. Even though in a hybrid environment it is unusual to do so, quick check-ins will ensure that the participants feel acknowledged, their views on the meeting pre and post are taken into account, as will instigate them to enthusiastically participate.
Another new chapter commonly seen now is the facilitator guiding the participants to the lane of agendas that have been set one by one. This is done so that both the facilitator and participants are aware of their purpose to complete in the stipulated time.
Once the wavelength of both the parties runs along the same axis, the meeting can be hence commenced and concluded with a robust solution.
Toss the static elements aside and grant the usage of dynamic means. Perform the task of getting the views of the audience in the digitized format via polling, questions, brainstorming as well as voting. These methods are also accessible to all the virtual participants irrespective of the device they used to join.
In this way, the attention of the participants shall never waver.
While some people think and speak out loud, others might need time to assess the thought process before contributing in a meaningful way. Shared digital platforms should be used so that the audience can easily share their volatile thoughts and views.
Therefore, to make the platform viable for even shy ones and not be passively bullied by the extroverted figures, use quick, anonymous tools that allow votes and comments from the participants.
The shortening attention span of people is another challenge that the facilitators have to deal with to keep the meeting out of the context of boredom.
Facilitators can, thus, initiate the splitting up of participants into pairs or small groups for discussion. Also, as we are in hybrid meetings, the live audience and virtual ones can be split separately. Later on, they all can reconvene and provide a summarised MOM.
At the end of the meeting, recap the agenda of the meeting and then discuss the outcomes yielded shortly and crisply.
Doing this shall ensure that the main topics to discuss have been covered as well as instill the participants to ask questions if there are some areas they could not understand. Thus, a meaningful conversation can be expected.
In the end, collect the feedback and responses from the participants. This might seem only as a formality to most, but it can create a huge impact, especially if the facilitators collate the suggestions and act on them.
This feedback might contain an overview of the participants about the meeting, what they expected versus what they received, as well as what they look forward to. It can be utilized in the next hybrid meeting to surge the bar of quality.
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