This article has been originally published at APMG

Tomasz Nedzi, an experienced facilitator, explains some simple tips that can help you facilitate online meetings

1. Be early

If you are the facilitator of the meeting it’s your duty to manage the meeting and be prepared. Show that you are prepared by being on time. It’s best to be the first person in the room.  Your participants will join gradually and you can meet and greet them. By showing your appreciation for their presence you will reduce stress. Asking them casual questions about the place they are joining from, or the weather at their place will help to build relationships.

2. Understand your participants

It’s important to understand that we humans are not all the same. Even though we like to assume that other people think, see and communicate as we do, that’s rarely the case. According to Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) we can identify 16 personality types and therefore meeting a person with the same profile as yourself might not be so easy. We need therefore to understand participants can prefer different ways of communicating (Introverts vs. Extraverts). In online meetings we need to understand that certain groups will prefer talking to other participants, whereas others will choose the chatbox to communicate.

3. Engage

Understanding participants profiles will help when engaging with them. You might be able to assign delegates to different rooms, using “Breakout rooms” or “Teams”. Breakout rooms are especially helpful if there’s person of authority and power in the main room. This can be intimidating to other participants. Therefore  breaking the group into subgroups will create engaging spaces, where different ideas are accepted. Don’t be overly prescriptive about how the groups should work together, because they will find their own rules. Some of the groups will choose to talk through, where others might want to write down their solution(s).

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