For those of you who know me, you know that I make a lot of mistakes. This time was no different. When March happened (aka: a worldwide pandemic), I had to pivot. But, much like when I took ballet lessons as a child, my pivot wasn’t necessarily pretty – a ballerina I am not!
Pivoting to remote training was a challenge for me. Okay, it’s still a challenge, but there are definitely five things I’ve learned NOT to do.
1. Have a meeting without an outcome: I learned quickly that having an outcome in a remote training brings people together. While we may not be sitting in the same room, we are working towards the same goal. It’s important to put the outcome on the agenda and then say it out loud. Outcomes are a MUST.
2. Use the same old norms: In-person norms are different than norms in a remote training session. None of us knew what to do when our world abruptly turned upside down. Having norms almost reduced the anxiety. When I first started working with teams in this new way, we actually talked about what these norms would look like, if done with excellence. We even went so far as to practice one norm per meeting. Practice makes perfect and norms are a MUST.
3. Run the entire training in a whole group: This is definitely a participant’s nightmare. Have you ever had to sit through an entire training session listening to someone talk “at you”? It’s bad enough in person, but worse in the remote world. And, the good news is that both Zoom and Google have a breakout room feature. I try and use the 20/80 rule. 20% whole group. 80% small group (aka: breakout rooms). Breakout rooms aren’t an option, they are a MUST.
20 + 80 = A GOOD BALANCE
4. Not take the time to connect: Honestly, I was silly not to think that this is actually more important in the remote environment. Connections with one another creates community. Community builds trust. Trust translates to results. We played “this or that” during our training today. It was a quick way to get to know each other as people. Building in time to connect – it’s a MUST.
5. Don’t allow time for laughter/smiling. It feels like there is SO MUCH to do. While that is true, there’s always time to laugh and smile. It’s good for the soul. So, I leave you with this. WARNING: The song from Dr. Lee will stay in your head for the rest of the day, but it’s okay, you’ll know the CDC guidelines much more than you would if you would read a pamphlet put out by the CDC. Smile. Laugh. Both are a MUST.