Our Programmes

We offer a range of online workshops and programmes - typically 60-75 minutes per session - on the following topics.  Each workshop or series of workshops can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Please get in touch for a no obligation discussion about your requirements and how we can assist:

Feedback from a virtual meeting chair:

'A brilliant session that I would certainly recommend to others. Thank you so much.  I can find online meetings difficult to lead, as I cannot always 'read the room' and your bank of ideas to help encourage feedback from those present was really helpful. I also found your practical suggestions for ensuring everyone who would like to participate has an opportunity to do so valuable.  As a team, we will certainly be adopting many of the demonstrated hand signals and build on these for making online meetings more effective.'
Hetal Patel,  STEPS Deputy Team Leader, Royal Borough of Greenwich

Better Online Meetings

Our research highlighted the dissatisfaction many Zoom and video conference users find with on line meetings.  Our in-depth interviews often highlight issues like:

 

  • I don't know when I can speak

  • we all try to speak at once

  • I feel disconnected from the others in my team

  • I find it hard not to be able to contribute or show my thoughts/feelings when someone else is speaking

  • I find it hard to read the body language – to work out what is really going on

  • I don’t know what other people think or feel

  • I get bored – we do so many boring video calls

  • I often feel other people aren’t engaged

 

Video Sign Language (VSL)

One of the problems is that most of us have approached Zoom meetings in the same way we do face to face meetings, not realising some different ways of communicating and working together are required - and there is as yet no agreed set of rules or language for online meetings.  Online meetings are different.   A key difference is that only one person can speak at once and it is much more difficult to know when it is your turn to speak.  It is also more difficult to read body language and to take in the whole room at once - to 'read the room'. 

We have researched other environments in which verbal communication is enhanced by the use of non verbal signs and signals - for example noisy workplaces, sign language and baby sign language, emergency services, sports. In each case a better total communication experience is achieved by combining the spoken word with hand signals. 

We realised this approach could be applied to online meetings and developed Video Sign Language (VSL), a series of hand signals that can be used in online meetings to complement the spoken word.  We have found through trialling our approach that much better levels of communication and understanding can be achieved if we combine verbal communication with agreed hand signals.   

Meeting Protocols

We combine Video Sign Language (VSL) with introducing a set of meeting protocols for online meetings that are adopted by the team. 

When these two disciplines are adopted and practised by a team we find a significant increase in meeting effectiveness and in many cases it is also a route to a more positive team dynamic. 

 
 

Team development programmes

We offer a range of online team development programmes and face to face workshops if they can be Covid safe. Our online workshop incorporate Video Sign Language (VSL) and meeting protocols.  Typically they are run over 6 x 1.25 hours sessions, but can be custom designed to suit your needs. We begin by improving meeting effectiveness then go on to cover:

  1. being creative online - energy, innovation, constructive conflict

  2. deepening team connection and trust

  3. improving relationships and handling conflict situations

  4. better listening and feedback 

  5. improving accountability 

  6. skills practice for all of the above 

During the workshops we tend to work as one group online in quite fast paced, high energy and fun sessions lasting 60-75 minutes. We then ask teams to complete one follow up 45-60 minute session in smaller groups before the next workshop. 

 

Leading/chairing online meetings

In depth sessions for those who chair or lead online meetings.  A five point programme for chairs to follow plus an online facilitation toolkit. Can include a clinic session to focus on any particular problems participants encounter.  

 

Coaching

In depth, completely tailored coaching focusing on the issue you are facing.  Can also be small group coaching where needs/issues are common or there is a benefit to working through tricky problems and situations together.