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•We are spending more and more time collaborating remotely

•Unlike a physical meeting where our social behaviour has been developed over time, digital meetings are a new challenge socially

•When you start any meeting, it is  important to ensure that everyone feels that they can contribute ensuring everyone gets the most value from the shared time – if you squander the attention and commitment of the delegates your session won’t be successful

•This short presentation provides some ideas about how to open meetings

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Greeting - we are acknowledged as part of a group and a general exchange of confirming welfare. It is the first part of any greeting

•Social order – everyone likes to understand their role in the group. In workshops, it is important to show participants that they are safe, appreciated and in a blame-free relaxed space where there is a shared goal

Expectation– everyone likes to understand what to expect

•Contributing – It is important to ensure everyone gets to contribute to the feeling of the team and feels valued. Contributions must be encouraged by every attendee. It must start slowly to build the habit of engagement

Opinions - People do not give opinions that may risk their standing in a group unless they feel that they are all part of the group.

•The host controls this dynamic before during and after each contribution

•Recognition - at various stages we want to feel that we are recognised


•When delegates joins the experience don’t leave silence - if there are people in the experience engage – saying we are going to start in xxx means stop paying attention. Use the time wisely. If you start an easy conversation people will join in. Building  momentum

•Make fun using what is said in the meeting (Socratic humour)

•Share stories about locations and weather

•Explain what is going to happen and then get feedback about what people would like to happen

•Keep track of who has spoken and who has not

•The initial greeting seems innocuous but is vital. Try to get contributions every 3 – 4 minutes


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