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This week’s Effective Virtual Conversations tip is very similar to last week’s statement of “Consider the right modality for the right conversation”, but slightly different.

This week’s Effective Virtual Conversations tip gets you to “Consider the right platform, for the right modality”. In today’s virtual space, there can be multiple channels we hold conversations on. From conference call lines, to Skype, to zoom, to WebEx. Some channels allow us to stream and see each other, while others only allow us to share our screen.

Consider these questions as you go to select the appropriate channel for your next conversation:
  1. How important is it that we see each other?
  2. How important is it for me to be able to share a PowerPoint deck or some slides?
  3. How important is it for us to be able to chat with each other? And also save the chat log?
  4. How important is it for us to be able to use annotation, where group members can make notation on the screen?
  5. How important is it for us to be able to record the conversation and share it at a later date with those who could not attend?
  6. How important is it for us NOT to be able to see each other?
  7. How important is it for us to have the ability to break out into smaller conversation pods or breakouts (just like we would in the in-person environment for small group discussion).
  8. What are connectivity and bandwidth issues like for the participants
The bulk of the coaching conversations and learning events I have hosted over the last fifteen years has been virtual. Every day I get to work with clients all over the world, not just in my city. With that in mind, each platform has its own pros and cons. Do some research into the different options.

Some of the ones I continue to use regularly are:
  • FreeConferenceCalling.com – for when clients want phone only service but one that also allows us to do breakouts
  • Zoom – My every day go-to where I host 95% of the programs I offer. The pro account offers breakouts, polls, recording, annotation and pretty much everything I could ever need to create engaging virtual sessions!
  • WebEx – usually the preferred platform of my corporate clients. Given that it often signals a more corporate conversation, people may not be as open to dialogue and interaction.
What are your favorite go-tos? I hope you’ll take a few minutes to share your experience in the comments below.

Best,
​Jennifer
Jennifer Britton – Potentials Realized 
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Join us for a conversation - connect at the Conversation Sparker Zone
Follow along with the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series over at Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder 
Now available – PlanDoTrack Workbook and Planner - Order a copy today on Amazon
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It is Sunday and time for another weekly video montage from the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series. Started in September, on the first day of fall, this is a daily Instagram series I host over at my feed – CoachingBizBuilder

Given that not everyone is on Instagram each week, we’re pulling together the daily photos and sharing them with you through video format in these weekly montages.This week we are at Week 10 of the series.

As you explore these questions, take note of the questions which are important to you, and your work, right now.

With best wishes,
Jennifer
Jennifer Britton – Potentials Realized 
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), Coaching Business Builder (2018) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
Follow along with the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series over at Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder 
Now available – PlanDoTrack Workbook and Planner - Order a copy today on Amazon
Connect for a conversation at the Conversation Sparker Zone - our online community where we explore topics related to virtual conversations, productivity, teamwork, coaching and business development.
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​This week’s weekly journaling prompt gets us to consider the question: “This quarter the theme is….”.

Part of the challenge in today’s VUCA context (were things may be ever-changing as well as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) is that there is so much to focus on. Having an annual or quarterly theme can help us to ground and focus on what is most important.
What is your theme for this quarter?
As a coach who has asked my clients (often leaders, teams or business owners) this question thousands of times here are some of the themes my clients have set over the years:
  • Acceleration
  • Laser Beam
  • Harpoon
  • Clarity
  • Rest
  • Waterfall – to signify a trust in continued flow
My own theme for 2019 is magnify. I’m finding that this is a great touchpoint for me to return back to as I make decisions, prioritize and consider where to place my time and attention.

This week I hope that you will engage with the question – What is your quarterly theme?

Enjoy!
​Jennifer
Jennifer Britton – Potentials Realized 
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), Coaching Business Builder (2018) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
Follow along with the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series over at Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder 
Now available – PlanDoTrack Workbook and Planner - Order a copy today on Amazon
Join us at the Conversation Sparker Zone - my online community where we explore topics related to virtual conversations, teamwork, coaching and business development
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The business context today is increasingly calling for collaboration – many times across time, distance and culture. What can get in the way of great collaboration? I thought it would be interesting to go back to Teams365 #1135 to explore six factors that can get in the way of collaboration. Let’s take a look at what I wrote back in this 2017 post


"Politeness is the poison of collaboration." - Edwin Land

“Let’s collaborate more” is commonly heard in organizations, and it may be easier said than done. As part of our February posts around collaboration, today’s post explores six barriers to collaboration, along with some possible ways to address these topics:

The six barriers we are going to explore in today’s blog post are:
  1. Ego
  2. Power
  3. Lack of Candor
  4. Inability to work across differences
  5. Different End Goals
  6. Lack of Trust
 
Barrier #1 – Ego – One of the biggest barriers which can get in the way of collaboration is our ego. In collaboration it is important to “park our ego” as much as possible so that we can truly be listening and hearing for what is needed to really synergize. Another commonly used term for parking our ego is “becoming unattached”. When we become too attached to our end result we may not hear or see possibilities which will actually end with a greater end result.

Barrier #2 -  Power – When power differentials are too different it can be very difficult to collaborate. In those instances where one group/person may have more “power”  whether due to resourcing, or information, it is important to design the boundaries of collaboration and be clear with intent.

Barrier #3 – Lack of candor – Candor is defined as “the quality of being open and honest in expression; frankness” in the Oxford Dictionary. Candor is a critical ingredient for collaboration. Without it there will be  a lot of wasted effort, and the true essence of collaboration will not be possible. Being able to share ideas without concern for judgement, the ability to be frank and open with feedback are all essential ingredients for collaboration

Barrier #4 – Inability to work across differences. In collaboration synergies, and differences, are usually harnessed. The ability to work across differences, making changes with one’s own style, is another essential ingredient for collaboration.

Barrier #5 – Different End Goals – When end goals are too different it can be very difficult to have collaboration. For example, if one member is aiming for an end result that is about quality and the other solely on speed, it may be more challenging to find the middle ground amongst the two. In these instances the end result needs to become an AND rather than an OR. So A AND B, rather than A OR B.

Barrier #6 – Lack of Trust. The one essential which will usually arrest collaboration before it starts is lack of trust. When trust is low, or non-existent, it is difficult to collaborate. Collaboration requires honesty, feedback, listening, candor, and bringing your best work to the table, in service to something greater. When trust is low or non-existent, these skills are usually not present.
As you consider your upcoming collaboration, how are you doing with these ingredients?

Best wishes,
Jennifer
Jennifer Britton – Potentials Realized 
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), Coaching Business Builder (2018) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
Follow along with the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series over at Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder 
Now available – PlanDoTrack Workbook and Planner - Order a copy today on Amazon
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This week’s Team Building Tip #223 gets you to explore the question “Together we can…”
  • What are you able to do together better than doing as individual contributors?
  • What is possible when you collaborate?
  • What is feasible when you partner with others?
  • What are you able to magnify?

Best,
​Jennifer
Jennifer Britton – Potentials Realized 
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), Coaching Business Builder (2018) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
Follow along with the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series over at Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder 
Now available – PlanDoTrack Workbook and Planner - Order a copy today on Amazon
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Tip #19 – 3 Bullet Points


“I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”– Blaise Pascal

Communicating in business is often about getting people into action. If our message is lost in transmission, we may have lost an opportunity to support change, missed a sale, or weakened a relationship.

Brevity is key to effective presentations and business communication. It helps us stand out and helps our message be memorable.

The latency and recency effects assert that we remember the start and the end of things. What are the key messages that you want people to remember? Keeping the latency and recency effect in mind, it is best to include the main points at the start and reinforce these again at the end.

Starting and wrapping up your presentation with 3 bullet points can be an effective way to boost retention of your message. Rather than going into a long description, boil it down to 3 bullet points.

Activity
Think about your upcoming presentations or marketing messages. What are the key points you want to communicate? What do you want to get across?
Think about the presentation. Write out the three bullet points you want people to remember.
Now think about the audience. What is important to them? What action do you want them to take?
Now rewrite your 3 bullet points.
As you think about the overarching arc of the presentation, what can you do to reinforce these three bullet points at the start of the presentation, and at the end?
Insert it now!

​The 3-bullet point tip is also useful beyond communication, in light of overall productivity. Simpler is better. It helps us focus. As it applies to time management, at the start of the day identify what are the 3 core items that MUST GET Done. If all else fails, what are those 3 things?

Conversation Sparkers
  • What is the message you want to communicate?
  • What do you want people to remember, and take action on?
  • What are the three bullet points?

Best,
​Jennifer

PS - If you have enjoyed these tips, do be sure to check out the new on-demand, video based course I have created around these. The program can be taken at your own pace, You can stretch the tips out daily, weekly or monthly. Join me this year for bi-weekly calls as part of your registration. Cost: $129 US. Learn more and register here

Jennifer Britton – Potentials Realized 
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), Coaching Business Builder (2018) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
Follow along with the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series over at Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder 
Now available – PlanDoTrack Workbook and Planner - Order a copy today on Amazon
Join the conversation  at our Conversation Sparker Zone - online community to discuss issues related to virtual teams, virtual conversations, coaching and business development
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PS - ​Tip #18 – What doesn’t get scheduled, doesn’t get done


“The whole point of getting things done is knowing what to leave undone.”- Oswald Chambers

Scheduling and tracking are key parts of business productivity. Time management in a virtual business includes:
  • Discernment – Knowing what is, and what is not important. In the big picture, in the immediate. For you. For the business.
  • Prioritizing – Being clear on your Top 3-5 activities. Today, this month, this quarter.
  • Scheduling it in- Making sure the big tasks and smaller tasks are scheduled in, particularly those things which are important to you and the business (review time, planning time, renewal time, maintenance, systems etc). Some research has also started pointing to the need for significant enough blocks of time being required to help you focus. For some this may be 90 minutes, others 3 hours.
  • Saying NO - tactfully!  Given that we are usually operating in isolation, negotiation skills are key. Being able to say “I can help you with this, however, that may not be feasible…”, being able to delegate, defer or even say no, are all key skills. It’s not surprising that training I deliver on Communicating and Negotiating for Impact is popular!
  • Being ruthless with your time.  Time is non-renewable. How do you choose to spend it?

Activity
Consider the questions listed above. What do you notice about Discernment? Priorities, Scheduling, saying no, being ruthless with time. What is important for you in staying the course?
Take 15 minutes to make sure your schedule is up to date and includes time for the important activities in the short, medium and long term.
Add an additional 10% of time to projects or tasks which are not yet visible but need to get done.
Consider what your line in the sand is around tasks and new requests. Are you operating at 100%? If you had a new request come in, what would you do? How could you defer other tasks?
  • What your successes have been?
  • Where your focus has been?
  • What products or services have you been focusing on offering?
Schedule it in. If you have not left space now, it’s unlikely it will emerge on its own!

Conversation Sparkers
  • What projects, tasks or activities are important to schedule this month?
  • What is your line in the sand around what more you can take on?
  • What are the Top 3-5 priorities for you today? This week? This month? This quarter?

Best wishes,
Jennifer

PS - If you have enjoyed these tips, do be sure to check out the new on-demand, video based course I have created around these. The program can be taken at your own pace, You can stretch the tips out daily, weekly or monthly. Join me this year for bi-weekly calls as part of your registration. Cost: $129 US. Learn more and register here
Jennifer Britton – Potentials Realized 
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), Coaching Business Builder (2018) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
Follow along with the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series over at Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder 
Now available – PlanDoTrack Workbook and Planner - Order a copy today on Amazon
Join the conversation at the Conversation Sparker Zone - our online community where you can explore virtual and team issues, coaching, productivity and business development).
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o There are many, many different types of conversations we can be having in the virtual space today – from virtual team meetings, to mentoring conversations, to coaching conversations.

In Effective Virtual Conversations I introduce 9 different parts of the virtual eco-system. These include:
  • Educational Events - Instructor/Facilitator led synchronous or asynchronous training through webinars, e-learning, webcasts
  • Peer to Peer Learning – Masterminds, Breakouts
  • Goal Setting
  • Informal Learning: Coaching/Training/Facilitating/Mentoring
  • Micro-Learning
  • Virtual Team Development
  • Video-Based Learning

Check out chapter 4 of Effective Virtual Conversations for more information about each of these different modalities.

What are the different types of conversations you are having? What makes them different from each other. As I write in EVC there can be a variety of individual versus peer-led conversations, formal approaches versus informal approaches.

It’s important to consider the right type of conversation which will be most impactful for the situation. For example, if someone wants to learn how to do something – i.e. replace a fan belt, a short video-based learning series might be most effective in demonstrating the replacement in action. This may be even more effective than pairing them with a mentor.

In contrast, if a team is looking to boost their connection and strengthen their goals, consider a live virtual facilitated team development session where they are meeting face to face, rather than putting them through a series of micro-learning modules delivered via your Learning Management System.

What are the best vehicles for upcoming conversations you have planned?
Also check out the Community Call I hosted on the different platforms for Effective Virtual Conversations. View it here.

Next week’s EVC tip will explore the related question of What’s the Best Platform for my conversation? Stay Tuned!

​Best,
Jennifer
Jennifer Britton – Potentials Realized 
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), Coaching Business Builder (2018) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
Follow along with the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series over at Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder 
Now available – PlanDoTrack Workbook and Planner - Order a copy today on Amazon
Join the conversation at our Conversation Sparker Zone - a community where you can connect and explore topics related to virtual conversations, virtual team issues, coaching and more!
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​It is Sunday and time for another weekly video montage from the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series. Started in September, on the first day of fall, this is a daily Instagram series I host over at my feed – CoachingBizBuilder

Given that not everyone is on Instagram, I’ve enjoyed bringing this to you through video format.

As you explore these questions, take note of the questions which are important to you, and your work, right now. 

Best,
Jennifer
Jennifer Britton – Potentials Realized 
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), Coaching Business Builder (2018) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
Follow along with the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series over at Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder 
Now available – PlanDoTrack Workbook and Planner - Order a copy today on Amazon
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This week’s weekly journaling prompt #36 is “The one thing which could be systematized is….”.

As I write in PlanDoTrack,
“Whether you are an entrepreneur, virtual team member or leader, having an office that runs well, and systems that support you, is essential for productivity and results. Business systems help a business flow, with automation, scaling or growth of a business. Systems can also support us when we are working from home!

How do we define a system?
A system is something we can replicate. Systems are useful for things we repeatedly do. They enable us to have multiple programs and services being offered at any one time. They also allow us to delegate and hand off items to others. “ (Britton, 2019, pp 74)
  
What are the things you could systematize in your business? What are the things that would help you scale?
 
Enjoy this week’s writing prompt!
​Jennifer
Jennifer Britton – Potentials Realized 
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), Coaching Business Builder (2018) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
Follow along with the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series over at Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder 
Now available – PlanDoTrack Workbook and Planner - Order a copy today on Amazon
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