Can a workshop work on the web?
With our current pandemic realities prohibiting in-person group collaboration, the way we “come together” in workshop-style settings needs to change. At Domain7, we’ve begun to see the shift to remote facilitation as being both a challenge, and an incredible gift.
When done poorly, a virtual session can be a drastic miss that sabotages the entire purpose. When done well, the experience can be elevating, and lead to even higher participation rates than an in-person engagement.
Why is remote facilitation so effective?
- Safety influences creativity: Since participants in virtual settings are joining from their own homes, they have added psychological safety and physical comfort — as studies show, this type of safety is a key ingredient for significant creative and constructive gain.
- Digital means data: With everybody at their own computer, we can share a digital data-collection tool (like a collaborative spreadsheet), instead of all crowding around one whiteboard with a dry erase marker
- Preparation makes perfect: A digital workshop requires hours more planning and prep than an in-person meeting. From tech rehearsals to minute-by-minute agenda design, these sessions can be engineered like bullet trains.
Remote facilitation requires a different type of intentional leadership and planning to take advantage of the technology, and to craft an agenda that is conscious of the virtual environment.