For a relational person, digital platforms are convenient and yet to be honest they are frustrating more often than not. When I facilitate in real time and real space, I can walk around the room, I can read body language, I can place a hand on a shoulder as I walk by, a smile can light up a space. I can watch participants interact, reach out to encourage, use humour and physical touch to include others.
On a digital platform that all changes and yet I have found meaningful ways to make connections real and viable.
Here are a a few thoughts to encourage you on how to facilitate a digital class. Next week I will suggest some ideas and tips for being a stellar,engaged and growth minded participant.
As a facilitator, your role has not changed, you are there to create a space that is inviting, safe and engaging. A space that invites the participants in to be fully present and to leave enriched and armed for what lies before them. Content is important and yet it is not king! You want to provide what you promised and yet you also are responsible to set the relational tone.
In your preparation, streamline your content in a way that invites and creates space for conversation and meaningful interaction.
Keep your audience at a personable size. You set the tone for the participants experience to have the greatest potential to be meaningful.
Present your prepared materials in a way that is compelling. Make space for participants to move the information into their context. well thought out popcorn responses, meaningful breakout room conversations and debriefing.
Be prepare to be present and to be no where else.
Engage the participants by leaning in, seeking their input, speaking to their input in a way that says you value them and what they have to say. Do not become an information dump, that is an abuse of the digital platform and of your people.
Use the chat column appropriately. The chat column is not necessarily a safe place for all so control your expectation of what you ask participants to share there. Make yourself available for deeper conversations after thee session..
Move beyond the turn on/turn off mode of leadership. Hang out for your people. If you don't you will never know what you will miss or perhaps overlook.
Ok, so there is a lot to chew on and a lot to figure out. This is your role as leader. You create the space that will be meaningful and engaging, resulting in dynamic growth.
I invite you to share tips you have learned along the way as a facilitator on a digital platform.
For further conversation feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org