In face-to-face meetings, engagement is important. But, in virtual meetings, engagement is critical. In face-to-face meetings, when engagement isn’t happening, you, the meeting leader, can see it. You can see people who are working on their tablet, talking on the telephone, whispering to their neighbor, staring out the window at passersby, and even those who are taking a short nap. But, this is rarely the case in virtual meetings.
If you are holding a virtual meeting and don’t have video, you could have meeting participants that are doing every behavior just described, and you might never know it—unless you are using engagement strategies that keep them focused and interacting. That’s what the art of facilitation is all about – keeping meetings (both face-to-face and virtual) highly engaging and interactive through the use of effective engagement strategies.
The relationship between high engagement and better results couldn’t be clearer, as shown in Figure 1.1 which demonstrates the two ways engagement leads to results.
Figure 1.1: The Engagement-to-Results Relationship
Through engagement, you tend to get better input that leads to better decisions, better solutions, and better results. At the same time, when you engage participants, this tends to result in higher levels of involvement in discussions, which leads to greater buy-in to decisions, which yields greater commitment to action, which in turn leads to better results.
Try one of our engagement strategies – Last Person Standing – in your next meeting to achieve powerful interaction and input from your group! Click the video below to see it demonstrated.
About the Author
Michael Wilkinson is the CEO and Managing Director of Leadership Strategies, the largest provider of professional facilitators and facilitation training in the country. Michael is a much sought after trainer, facilitator and speaker. He is a Certified Master Facilitator and a Certified Professional Facilitator. As a past president of the Southeast Association of Facilitators, the creator of the FindaFacilitator.com database and a board member of the International Institute of Facilitation, Michael is a national leader in the facilitation industry. You can get more tips from Michael’s books, including The Executive Guide to Facilitating Strategy, The Secrets of Facilitation, The Secrets to Masterful Meetings, and CLICK: The Virtual Meetings Book.