Like many businesses today, LTA is relying upon tele- and video-conferencing – virtual meetings – to both deliver and coordinate services with clients and professional staff. Recognizing that virtual work is now fundamental to business, LTA has placed a high priority on becoming expert in the virtual delivery of Action Learning and team based problem solving. In addition to the information that we have already provided about virtual meetings (see an earlier blog on “the upside of conducting Action Learning virtually” and the recorded webinar on virtual Action Learning delivered by Carole Lyles Shaw and me last winter, https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4x7ncu9bfi2ltu2/AADjcfMeywQPqRXwNNlGZH0Ka?dl=0), we have the following tips for anyone who is planning to conduct virtual Action Learning:
- If you will be using someone else’s video conferencing system, request personal testing and training in that organization’s system. Don’t accept assurances that your computer system will work smoothly within the organization’s video conferencing system.
- Don’t accept as an automatic default using audio feeds only. The problem with using an audio only feed is that much of the non-verbal information (roughly 60% of total message information) is lost.
- Add 15 minutes to the start of the first virtual meeting to make sure that everyone successfully enters the meeting with both video and audio feeds. Having someone from tech support enter the meeting at this time to troubleshoot and help people configure their systems is also very useful.
- Consider contracting for your own video conferencing system. You can offer this system as a value-added service for smaller clients who don’t have a video system of their own or don’t have a system robust enough to handle 5-8 video feeds simultaneously.
- Finally, don’t forget the video system capabilities at any external meeting site. Hotels, even ones part of large, international chains often claim to be teleconference capable but are really only set up for audio conferences.