All right, but just for a little while. And then we go back to normal, right?
But it is becoming very clear that online working will be around for a lot longer. We will have many more meetings via computer screens in the coming weeks, months, and even years.
Online meetings seemed impersonal, uninspiring and boring to me. But after more than 6 months of online meetings, I have to say I changed my mind slightly. It's actually possible to hold inspiring and personal conversations via Zoom, Teams, etc. It might take some extra effort, but it can be done!
The organisation of Courageous Conversations at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam reviewed my online moderating style as follows:
'Anne is an excellent moderator who talks people through a programme in a original, creative, yet very professional way. Interestingly, Anne knows how to create a personal vibe in an online meeting. This is of great value in these times, in which more and more presentations, discussions, and public interactions take place online.'
The art and skill of moderating group discussions online is helped massively by recent innovations. The great thing is that software developers, trainers, and teachers have developed many new methods to work online, and I am a fervent collector of these tools. Online, much as offline, I look for methods that allow for inclusive interactions, that can get people moving, and that bring a smile to your face. It is my personal mission to work in such a way that makes people completely forget about their email, whatsapp, and their dirty laundry. Focus on each other and the group: a good conversation, online.
The 'new normal', it might not be as bad as I initially thought....