Don’t forget the virtual attendees in hybrid meetings


Don’t forget the virtual attendees in hybrid meetings

A training on how to reach inclusion and equality 

Have you experienced a hybrid conversation yet? These conversations, with both physical and virtual attendees, can be challenging. Virtual participants become small squares in the corner of the screen when someone shares a presentation, and in a heated discussion between physical attendees, they may even be forgotten. Therefore, virtual attendees can feel excluded and experience an unequal opportunity to participate in the conversation. With the Hybrid Conversation training you learn how to create communication inclusivity in your hybrid conversation.

After working from home for more than a year, a new normal has presented itself: hybrid working. This gives us the opportunity (but also the need) to organize our team meetings, client meetings and training sessions in a hybrid way. At first sight, you would expect such meetings to be highly effective. This remote way of working provides everyone the opportunity to participate from wherever they are, meetings can be planned faster and therefore we would expect hybrid meetings to be cost-efficient, to be inclusive, and to enhance equality. However, organizing an effective hybrid meeting is more challenging than you might think. 

More information about the training

The challenges

Hybrid conversations are challenging as they take place in two different settings, both offline and online. Have you already experienced one of the following situations?

  • Physical attendees started a side conversation in which the online participants could not participate.
  • When a presentation was shared on the main screen, virtual attendees became small squares in the corner of the screen.
  • During a heated discussion among physical attendees, virtual attendees were accidentally forgotten.
  • And when a single camera was used for the physical space, the virtual attendees couldn’t see clearly which of the physical attendees is speaking. 

The result of these situations is that there is no communicative inclusiveness. Because attendees do not share the same environment, they also do not share the same experience. This creates the possibility that virtual attendees will feel excluded and experience an unequal opportunity to participate in the conversation, which negatively impacts the effectiveness of the meeting.

More awareness

We need to focus on improving hybrid conversations, since they will become common in the post-pandemic workplace. When preparing and holding hybrid meetings, we should focus more on HOW the conversation is organized than on what is said. To ensure that we know how to organize these hybrid meetings, we must first be aware of the challenges of hybrid meetings. Second, we need to acquire some conversational skills to organize effective hybrid meetings. Awareness of the challenges, and skills to deal with them, will increase the chances that your hybrid meeting will succeed.  

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