The world is changing. As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, it changed the way that we connect with the world around us and made social distancing a household phrase. This has meant that businesses and organizations have had to adopt new methods of connecting with clients, and here at Intersol, in order to continue offering our proven facilitation services, we are leveraging a host of tools to provide them online.
Our virtual facilitation services utilize the latest technology to help us facilitate data-sharing and brainstorming, ensuring we are able to provide our clients with high-quality information in a fast and effective process.
Our experienced team leverages a unique web-based platform called Facilitate Pro, which is an online version of the traditional paper-based flipchart used in face-to-face meetings. This online tool allows participants to engage and share their ideas, but it also provides us with the opportunity to conduct additional decision-making options such as polls.
Virtual meeting facilitation poses a number of additional challenges compared to in-person facilitation, but Facilitate Pro lets us conduct our sessions with individuals and groups no matter where they are located – be it in the same room, or in another time zone. This ability means that everyone is able to contribute and be active in the session, either live as part of a group discussion or asynchronously over a period of several days or weeks.
We understand that when it comes to operating online, security is a concern for our clients, which is why our virtual facilitation services are conducted on a fully secure platform. The web-based tools we use are located on a secure server that is based in Canada and is password enabled to further boost security.
When it comes to virtual meeting facilitation, we know that being able to chat directly with our facilitators is crucial. Effective communication requires seeing facial expressions, which is why we utilize videoconferencing software such as Zoom and GoToMeeting, so our experts can seamlessly conduct our facilitation services virtually.
By conducting our sessions using videoconferencing software, our experts can continue to facilitate discussions and keep the group engaged. With over thirty years’ experience, we understand what methods work best to engage any organization, and we utilize the unique capabilities of each platform to carry out these methods in the same way we would during a face-to-face session, including hosting breakout sessions and requiring virtual hand-raising.
Proven virtual meeting facilitation methods
At Intersol, we are fully embracing the ‘new normal’ and have already been able to host a number of virtual facilitation sessions. We recently facilitated a strategic planning workshop for an organization with twelve people.
We were able to utilize the electronic flipchart features of Facilitate Pro to engage the group, having each participant respond to a set of seven preparatory questions. These questions were designed to help us explore their current context, the overall mission, and vision of the organization, and help us to identify the overarching strategic priorities. Once we had this information, we were then able to conduct a virtual workshop using Zoom, which we held parallel alongside the electronic flipchart.
This unique session let each attendee comment on each other’s ideas as well as facilitating a discussion to look at the shared commonalities. With this information, we could then help them identify high-level strategic priorities that could help them move the organization forward in a post-coronavirus world.
Don’t just take our word for it; check out some of the feedback from the session from the participants: