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Free facilitation webinar: When is online better than face to face? (chat)

We all know that online is just not the same as face-to-face, right? And that for some things, maybe, it will never be as good. But when, or for what, can online be better?

“We ran a conference in Teams (and it was better than the “real” thing)” wrote Dr Robert O’Toole NTF of the University of Warwick this week.

“Technology facilitated a more inclusive meeting than is usually possible in person. Best facilitation ever, more equal interaction than at any other meeting, no flights (climate thanks us). Virtuality rules!” wrote particpants in a 3-day online event of over 100 delegates that I facilitated myself recently.

What’s your experience? When we get to choose again between online and face-to-face, how can we best make the best of both worlds? Join us to connect, share & learn!

For further details including other session outputs, see

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Free facilitation webinar: When is online better than face to face? (chat)

  1. 1. When is online better than face-to-face? 1 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020
  2. 2. When is online better than face-to-face? 2 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020 Opening introductions: • Tanya Lehmann: Good evening from the Riverland in South Australia. • Margaret Rose: Hello everyone from Perthshire Scotland • Yoshiki Kashiwagi: Good afternoon from Japan. • Julia: What an amazing flock of facilitators! • Sharon Honner: Birds of a feather:) • Anastasia Popova: Greetings to all from Dubai! • Enrico Teotti: FYI more faces means increased network utilization. I’ve found out and measured the difference here utilization-on-zoom-calls/ • Jacinta Cubis: that's a good tip, thanks Enrico • Steven McInnes: Hi from Melbourne Australia • Sharon Honner: Global gathering • Heather Collins (NZ): I met Tim from Sydney • adrian ashton: nice to have heard I'm not the only person missing covering walls in post-it notes • doreen teo: Hi from SG! Met others with SG connection:-) • Milena Mileva: Hi from Bulgaria • Anastasia Popova: Hello everyone! I`m Anastasia. I am facilitator to be based in Dubai with great ambition to become an excellent facilitator and help organizations to activate those brains cells that didn't know they have !:) Happy to connect @facilitationwithanastasia What kind of events have you experienced first face-to-face and now also online? [Objective level] • Suzanne Trew - Scotland: full day training programmes • Suzanne Trew - Scotland: team meetings • June: meditation • doreen teo: Coaching conference • jessica luzuriaga: teaching training by zoom • Rosemary Martin de Sousa: Expert meetings, team meetings, management meetings • Gerrard Young: Tender (Bid) Strategy Workshops • Clare, Glasgow, Scotland: Training • Tim Shuttleworth: Coaching • John Ogier - Sydney: Webinar, • Shobhna: Team Coaching • Deepak: Family check in on zoom • Clare, Glasgow, Scotland: Yoga • Megan Ross: comedy festival! • Dayu Dwirani: Training programs • Suzanne Trew - Scotland: quilting events • doreen teo: cousins' gathering • Ayleen: Team events; Meditation series • jessica luzuriaga: for online classes • Sonia Vicente: team meetings; yoga classes • Kirsty Gaunt: Public meetings - neighbourhood groups. Also cultural events - such as celebrating Eid, Pride • Clare, Glasgow, Scotland: Zumba • Brad Rilatt: Training, coaching, strategy meetings, church, family • Raj: Got to me somebody who is from our own country even though in different time line • Gerrard Young: Team Meetings • adrian ashton: pub quizzes • Ilze Jekabsone: Meetings, webinars, conferences, team meetings, sport class, virtual running • Rengin Akkemik: Online training • Helen Bradley: Training, Feldenkrais, social • Shelley Collins: Business meetings, church services, • Suzanne Trew - Scotland: craft classes • Sandrine Sleiman: pilates, dance classes • Rosemary Martin de Sousa: yoga, personal training sessions • Jo McCausland: Quiz, workshops, wine club • Ged Futter: Been running workshops / meetings face to face for 20 years, running online for 12 weeks • Graham Miller: Facilitated scenario-based discussion exercise on line • Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: family events, church services, catching up with alumin • Jayne Dunn: workshops, large meetings, executive coaching, dinner with family
  3. 3. When is online better than face-to-face? 3 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020 • Carolyn Chia (Singapore): beer • Suzanne Trew - Scotland: pilates • Yoshiki Kashiwagi: School Reunion. • Shobhna: Yoga • Sheryl Smail: governance events, coaching, pilates, ukulele playing • Catherine McGufficke: Birthday parties • Sonia Vicente: online training • Lyn Wong: Dance classes • Julia: Business meetings • Claire Pearce: group therapy • Kavitha, India: Family baking • Susan Benedyka: hi from Byawatha in North East Victoria. Community meetings • Shelley Collins: Family birthdays • Suzana Zivkovic: team meetings, client meetings, training (capacity building), Yoga, facilitation festival • Jamie Nicholls: training and workshops • Rosemary Martin de Sousa: Virtual drinks • Jacinta Cubis: I've run virtual walkshops, talks, mentoring, yoga, quizzes, drinks, meetings, • Julia: Learning • Heather Collins (NZ): Learning Te Rwo - our language • Sonia Vicente: birthday parties • Clare, Glasgow, Scotland: School catch ups • Faz Kamar: almost all of the above • Katie Barron Cambridge: meditation, family cooking • jessica luzuriaga: church events too • Shelley Collins: Easter service • Margarida Ambar: online - work, chatting with family and friends, birthday party • feteiso: meetings • Heather Collins (NZ): Te Reo! • Milena Mileva: Facilitated workshops both online and F2F • Mary Maddock: Gin tasting night to celebrate World Gin Day • Kate ONeill: I have experienced work events, quizzes and family get together • Kerryn Miller (Velleman): Executive coaching, team coaching, facilitation of group learning, yoga, choir practice, jazz ballet class, family/friends socialising • Mary Todorov: Face to face - large design workshops for construction / capital works, online - only briefing and coaching sessions - would like to expand my skillsets on online facilitation • Najuan Daadleh: family gathering • Sheryl Smail: meeting up with friends • Sophie Treinen, Hungary: aperitif time with friends • Susan Benedyka: Business sessions - all type of facilitation • Elaine Obenshain: company annual events • Kirsty Gaunt: Council meetings • Heather Collins (NZ): Pub night • Suzanne Trew - Scotland: cocktail making • Tanya Lehmann: workshop facilitation, meetings, school planning focus group, church services • Linda Chan: friends gathering, workshops, meetings • Milena Mileva: Training • Clare, Glasgow, Scotland: Zumba on zoom has been a life line • Michael Howard: 3 day events for company. facilitation. family • adrian ashton: visiting museums and galleries • John Ogier - Sydney: Mentoring Men volunteer group • Jacinta Cubis: walkshop • Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: a funeral service for a well-loved priest. • Diane Heritage: Board meetings, connecting with family, quiz, sharing garden progress and tips, learning events. • Kathryn Robertson: Training webinars • Suzanne Trew - Scotland: Making paper flowers online • doreen teo: walkshop?? • adrian ashton: pitching competitions • Rosemary Martin de Sousa: Appraisal dialogues • doreen teo: Jacintha • jessica luzuriaga: tele medical appointments • feteiso: family "gathering" in Easter lunch • Elaine Obenshain: sales motivational meetings • Rhonda Sparks: Online 80-member choir rehearsals • Shelley Collins: funerals • Milena Mileva: online coffee or wine with friends and family during the lockdown
  4. 4. When is online better than face-to-face? 4 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020 • Kavitha, India: yes, a funeral service too and birth of new baby. • Jacinta Cubis: @doreen - walkshops live and online - photographic exercises to help people get better at reading the room. didn't think virtual would work, but does! • Kerryn Miller (Velleman): Virtually (Zoomed) a funeral service • doreen teo: interesting! • Rhonda Sparks: Converting last modules of a leadership program (for Korea to be on-line led from Switzerland and australia • Rhonda Sparks: Pilates • doreen teo: Thanks @Jacintha • Sheryl Smail: would love to know about what a walkshop is • doreen teo: Jacinta • Rengin Akkemik: IAF EME Online Facilitation Summer Festival • Suzana Zivkovic: yes, I'd also like to know how a walkshop works:) • Rhonda Sparks: Training Facilitators on-line When were you disappointed, or pleasantly surprised, by the difference? What was going on? [Reflective level] • Suzanne Trew - Scotland: surprised by the engagement that is possible • Ged Futter: Using Polls is something that is hard to do face to face • Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: prepare prepare prepare. Have a tech buddy. Check internet speed. • Anna Carr: Juggling - and physical play • Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: Getting people engaged and speak. Managing people who want to speak for long periods..... past their given time • adrian ashton: kicking people out of the call who refuse to turn on their video camera encourages more participation... • Jacinta Cubis: supposed experts making too many assumptions about participant's ability to push the right button etc • Tim Shuttleworth: Reading body language is difficult in 2D • Jo McCausland: Not noticing someone had come late into the 'virtual' room so didn't welcome them/recap. • Jamie Nicholls: Initially disappointed by lack of taking on video use, but it does reflect individual tolerances to sharing information about themselves • Jo McCausland: My connection dropping! Heart palpitations! • Jacinta Cubis: that's interesting - I LOVE the banter on chat • Tanya Lehmann: Pleasantly surprised - the power of the chat function to provide real-time response and feedback to speakers, to encourage and respond without interrupting. The feedback from introverts especially, who love the 'safety' and 'share of voice' they experience in the more rigidly facilitated interaction space • Faz Kamar: me too! • Heather Collins (NZ): Sharing a voice via chatbox is empowering • Margarida Ambar: I miss the networking possibilities in online events • adrian ashton: everything on line takes longer - but this is a good thing as it encourages more patience • Jo McCausland: Yes, agree re takes longer. • Tanya Lehmann: What I miss - the ease of in- room dynamic steering with co-facilitators; have to use other strategies to communicate remotely, so lean more heavily on structure, timing than we normally would • doreen teo: what do L&D in organisation consider when making a decision to move face to face session to online?
  5. 5. When is online better than face-to-face? 5 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020 • Julia: Yes, online forces you to go slow. There are benefits of this. • Rhonda Sparks: Was able to run an in-house leadership program that was about to be cancelled because of Covid. Ran with Pamela Lupton-Bowers. Her in Geneva and me in Ballarat and participants who were “stuck” working from home around the world. parts said it was the best thing they had done. Deeper conversations in break out groups and able to talk about things they hadn’t done before. Lots of extra design work but it worked so well. • Sheryl Smail: My small group participants were really positive about the benefits. These included; increased participation by employees with management possible and increased confidence to contribute because of being in an environment (own lounge) for the meeting. The impact was an increase in confidence. • Jayne Dunn: It takes a lot longer to design workshops as so much more needs to be considered • Rhonda Sparks: Yes - it takes more time - to design and run • Katie Barron Cambridge: I value the egalitarian aspect of zoom. We're all in an equal box! • Faz Kamar: I can relate with Rhonda's point of opportunities for deeper conversations • Pragya Taneja: I was surprised by the host of tools available to replicate the F2F conversation in the context of online communication; I found jamboards particularly interesting! What I miss about F2F meetings is reading between the lines, being able to get the nuances, what the other person may be thinking and feeling (body language) • Tanya Lehmann: Surprised - that you can still generate very deep, moving interactions - but you need to consider the "session" as part 2 in the trilogy - the preparation of participants prior is so important, as the facilitator has less control of the conditions that support engagement, and the participants need to be enrolled to do their own work to reduce distractions, arrive ready to participate. Then the 3rd section of the trilogy is in the after work, follow up. • Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: In Malaysia we had ToP training over 24 hours in 4 days.. for a group of 16 participants using MIRO as the platform for practice of Focused conversation and Consensus workshop..... it was a good experience....and great learning What can we learn about when online is better than face-to-face? [Interpretive level] • Katie Barron Cambridge: A lot of banter reinforces hierarchies.... • Clare, Glasgow, Scotland: I have found from training course and Zumba class that I have new and bigger support groups • Raj: Where distance, cost and logistics stop people from meeting together, online is a boon • Anastasia Popova: INVALUABLE! • Suzanne Trew - Scotland: the international element is brilliant - chats with those who I would not have met otherwise • Tim Shuttleworth: 1-2-1’s have been so much more laser focused • jessica luzuriaga: time management is challenging when teaching university Ss even when they are adults • Ged Futter: Find out the tools you can use and make them work... • Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: Deeper conversations are possible online.... when the safe space has been set • Shelley Collins: Accessibility to global audiences • Graham Miller: Breakout rooms are essential - I used MS Teams to run a session for 44 people for 3 hours with no breakout rooms - which was tough!
  6. 6. When is online better than face-to-face? 6 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020 • adrian ashton: on-line enables people to be able to engage more - no need for them to 'lose' time from travel • Faz Kamar: I'm with Raj on this one: where distance, cost & logistics get in the way of traveling, online can be better. And thanks to these current disruptive times, there are tech & tools that can make that happen better • Rhonda Sparks: International aspects - can bring so many people together. Climate Change - less air travel • Jo McCausland: Chat makes it easier for people who wouldn't normally speak up in the physical world to share what they think. More democratic? • Heather Collins (NZ): Building emotional connections - we don't do this as much in a f2f setting • Deepak: Breakout rooms is a great forum for intimate and deep conversations. Even better than the face to face workshops. • Rhonda Sparks: we can break down the longer meetings into more manageable chunks • adrian ashton: it's safer - no ability to people to start fights with each other (I've had to referee some groups in the past...) • Tanya Lehmann: I agree Deepak, although as a facilitator I suffer from FOMO when participants are in their break out rooms and I can't subtly eavesdrop on their conversations!! • Jo McCausland: Can record the session and play back to make sure everything captured when writing up and can share with non-attendees if recorded • Susan Benedyka: love the extra tool bar under the participant list. Was that set up at the time of scheduling the meeting? • doreen teo: Agree with all that is said about the benefits.... having the right set up is important though • Kathryn Robertson: Yes, I agree that chat is useful for shy people: > • Ged Futter: A full day workshop is now 3 2-hour sessions with time between each one, enables us to set 'homework' between each one • Jayne Dunn: Bringing people from around the world together. I was a participant learning a new diagnostic tool and the insight form others around the world really deepened the experience • Jacinta Cubis: wow @Ged - 3 x 2-hour sessions - that's heaps! do people tolerate that many? • jessica luzuriaga: after being lockdown like 4 three months because of the covid19 it was wonderful to see some faces at least on a screen using zoom I cried a lot! it was refreshing and I felt that I was not alone anymore. • Anastasia Popova: I love `yammy yammy` thing • Tanya Lehmann: unexpected benefit - our leadership program (now fully on-zoom) is more accessible to young female professionals who previously found the travel and time away from home to attend training prohibitive. So improved accessibility. • Faz Kamar: Sending you virtual hugs now Jessica • jessica luzuriaga: thanks • adrian ashton: on-line does seem to be more egalitarian, but that doesn't automatically equate to accessibility: people with visual/hearing/etc impairments need more specific adaptions that are more challenging in a virtual world... • Ged Futter: 1 day = 3 x 2 hour just to clarify, coffee break after 55 minutes for 9 minutes • Rhonda Sparks: 2-day F2F facilitation training is now 5 x 3-hour sessions with homework over 3 weeks. People LOVE the idea and don’t have to travel. • Ayleen: It has helped to solve the eternal problem of people not wanting to engage in virtual meetings, because of being not confident with the technology. With WFH - everyone is in the same boat - and we all had to swiftly learn how to use virtual technology. So … virtual will now continue to be an option for more people now than before • adrian ashton: I was booked to run a solid 6- hour session recently - only me in camera for the whole block as other groups of people rotated around breakouts and breaks
  7. 7. When is online better than face-to-face? 7 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020 When we get to choose again, how can we best make the best of both worlds – both online and face-to-face? [Decisional level] • Jacinta Cubis: great question! • Jacinta Cubis: purpose, purpose, purpose - fit for purpose • Elaine Obenshain: digital discrimination - can you please give more feedback about this? • Jayne Dunn: HAs anyone had success with Microsoft teams? • Enrico Teotti: Things to remember, you are not alone, there are a communities out there waiting to be built • Shelley Collins: Considerations of the need to travel, safety, costs. • Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: the sense of safety online allows people of different viewpoints to meet and exchange different viewpoints • Anastasia Popova: One thing would be maximizing outreach enormously • Ayleen: Design sessions wisely - a combination of face to face & online sessions. Base it on the purpose • Shelley Collins: The screen gives permission to challenge without fear. • Tanya Lehmann: Be more explicit with participants about what they can do to prime themselves for an effective learning experience (reduce distractions, enter in the frame of mind, be fully present, position their camera for eye contact). This is more consistent with adult learning principles, but as a facilitator I would have historically owned disproportionate responsibility for this. • Rhonda Sparks: last week I started to develop a new framework (on wall behind me but mirrored) on F2F / Virtual / Synchcronous / Asynchronous and BLENDED and criteria for when is best to do what. been working on this for a month, so session is interesting for me today • Rhonda Sparks: Also run by you Martin :-) Couldn’t miss it • Suzanne Trew - Scotland: choose based on desired outcomes of the event • Suzana Zivkovic: Absolutely, reduce travel and thus the climate impact • Susan Benedyka: am getting higher attendances at many meetings, due to shorter times and no travel. Making choices about f2f vs virtual will be more mindful • Shelley Collins: Less distractions -eg. cont use phone and text at the same time. • Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: we can use online to provide teaser programmes and starter • Paul Kelly: When it comes to being able to choose again - we now have more options to offer our clients...… More option builds opportunities …………. Thank you for today. • Susan Benedyka: I also like some asynchronous tools for decisions and input between meetings - eg • adrian ashton: ORID as a model seems to correlate closely to CBT? • Catherine: if your sessions are recorded and learners can self-pace it offers them greater flexibility • Rhonda Sparks: Yes Susan. I think this sone of the huge advantages on virtual and breaking into different sessions • Anastasia Popova: I invite everyone to share your Instagram/ facebook or LinkedIn handle to stay in touch (if interested) • Jacinta Cubis: the group map people are great @susan • Rhonda Sparks: Now clients are less puzzled / resistant when I suggested a blended approach with asynchronous on-line tools before and after the meeting. • Susan Benedyka: agreed Rhonda. Also makes meetings much more efficient with great discussions • Rhonda Sparks: Elaine - I like your comment re digital discrimination because if people have poor connectivity e.g. remote Australia, remote Kenya (like last week for me) and also problems re around disability. Some people are being left behind and unable to properly engage. We need to work on this and being more inclusive.
  8. 8. When is online better than face-to-face? 8 Zoom chat – 17 Jun 2020 Closing Reflections • Anastasia Popova: happy to connect, grow and learn • Susan Benedyka: thanks to you Rhonda, and the wonderful Andrew Huffer, my tool kit has expanded considerably! • Shelley Collins: Great book - The Art of Focused Conversation • Brad Rilatt: Always happy to connect with facilitators from around our amazing world:-) Brad Rilatt, Sydney • Daniel G: Could someone please share the upcoming workshop • Ayleen: ORID is a method of FOCUSED Conversation - and can be used in any settings - including the practise of CBT • Margaret Rose: Experience Reflection Learning and planning Kolb's Learning Cycle • doreen teo: agree... we cannot assume everyone has the privacy at home to participate in virtual facilitation • Sophie Treinen, Hungary: Kolb experiential learning cycle • Yuan Ting: could the link to the gestalt event be shared? • v narsi: David Kolb: 4 stages - Concrete Event, Reflective Observation, Abstract conceptualisation and Active Experimentation • Dayu Dwirani: I will save this chat and will following your profile on social media (Instagram/LinkedIn).. Happy to connect:) • Julia: Thanks Martin, Stephen, Anna and Brad. Great session. • Jacinta Cubis: thank you - so glad I came - great to see so many facilitative faces! • Jo McCausland: Definitely interested in ORID/Liberating Structures Martin. • Ayleen: It's been a great hour. I need to go … THANK YOU!!! • Patricia Nunis, Malaysia: Thank you... useful info from the sharing. see you in July • Jacinta Cubis: that was great, thanks organisers and fellow participants - got to go! • Kavitha, India: I am interested in ORID/Liberating Structures Martin. • v narsi: Thanks very much Martin, Stephen and Anna.Need to step out now. • Enrico Teotti: If people want to chat about agile retrospective facilitation I host a podcast you can connect on linked in • Catherine McGufficke: Thank you!! I need to leave, very interesting conversation. • Catherine: Thank you, I always learn something. I like the break out rooms • Tanya Lehmann: thank you for the fantastic event, rich conversation and generous sharing by everyone present:) • Katie Barron Cambridge: Lovely to meet you all! • Anastasia Popova: Great thanks! • jessica luzuriaga: thanks for sharing, nice to meet all of u. • Dayu Dwirani: Thank you for today's session • jessica luzuriaga: be safe! • Margaret Rose: Thank you for the session very interesting • Sheryl Smail: Thank you Martin and team. Much appreciated:-) • Megan Ross: thanks everyone, great session! • Linda Chan: thank you for today's session. I picked up ideas from the breakout rooms:) • Najuan Daadleh: Thank you for the session and it was lovely to meet you in the breakout rooms • Kate ONeill: Great session as always, thank you, sorry I have to leave now to prepare for another meeting • Jayne Dunn: Great to meet everyone and hear about the experiences and energy. Thank you • Mary Maddock: great to connect globally. thank you for the opportunity and look forward to more learning • Milena Mileva: thank you for the session • Heather Collins (NZ): Thanks for the opportunity to connect globally • Suzana Zivkovic: Thank you everyone! • jessica luzuriaga: time management is vital • John Ogier - Sydney: Good to meet everyone. • Geetha Chakravarthy: Thanks a lot Martin. Enjoyed the session and the learning • Elaine Obenshain: Thank you for the insights. Well enjoyed! • Susan Benedyka: good bye and great session. thank you • Jo McCausland: Thanks all - great session