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How to hold work meetings and events that connect people — even online

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How to hold work meetings and events that connect people — even online
Here are ways to inject connection and meaning into events when you’re physically apart but virtually together, from Priya Parker.

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Clarify the purpose of your virtual gathering

Clarify the purpose of your virtual gathering

Don't assume your virtual gathering shares the same goal as the canceled in-person one. Keep these questions in mind:

  • What is the most important need now for this group right...

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Set up the room

Use everyone's environment to fill the lack of context of virtual gatherings.

A room and location often set the context for the group. And virtual gatherings lack the context...

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Have a clear host

Regardless of the size of the gathering, know who's in charge.

A good host knows how to use the mute button, can orient her guests to the gathering's purpose, and will co...

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Create an opening ritual

Don't just get straight into the meeting. A consistent opening ritual connects people, establishes who's in the room, and their relevance to the meeting.

Invite people to bri...

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Share digitally

We can now share things instantly. Share a relevant article, video, or agenda that orients people to the new purpose of the meeting.

Send a digital gift at the end of the gat...

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Allow people moments

The home is also an office, for now. We need moments of home-life to remind the group that everyone has multiple things going on in their lives, like a cat that can't resist saying hello or...

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Host different conversations in different rooms

People are more likely to remember different moments of an event when they occur in other places.

Even breaking up your virtual meeting sessions by just changing ca...

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Keep the cocktail hour

Keep some time for celebration if that would have been part of your in-person gathering.

Invite people to bring a drink of choice. Screen-share cellphone numbers (with perm...

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Keep on gathering

These are strange times - acknowledge that, but don't retreat. Be creative and continue to use the opportunities with the digital tools that previous generations did not have.

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Attending conferences

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Pre-introduce yourself

Think about the people you would like to get to know and then carve out time to accomplish that goal:

  • A few before the conference, make a 'priority wish list' of people you’d like to meet. 
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  • Most remote managers say they’d be more inclined to stay if they had more friends at work.
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Dynamic Icebreakers

If your icebreaker questions are intriguing, cheeky, humorous – the answers you receive will be, too.

Many remote teams will kick off their weekly meeting with an icebreaker question or insert it during their morning stand-up meeting. Even more popular is asking a series of icebreaker questions during the onboarding process when hiring someone.

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