4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Video Call
Technology works well...when it works well.
Video calls make it possible for ELI mentors and mentees to stay consistent, committed, and authentically engaged on the journey. Whether they are traveling, out of town, on the move, or more, our community relies on video conferencing to stay connected! This being said, how can we utilize this tool to the fullest?
Limit Distractions: On both sides of the camera, work to limit distractions. When possible, choose a neutral background, use a headset/phones with a built-in microphone, and mute yourself if in a noisy environment. While there may be a temptation to multi-task, take advantage of the incredible opportunity to connect with others by being fully present (no texting!).
Maximize Engagement: While different than being in-person, video calls often provide multiple ways for participants to engage with each other. Prioritize being on video and not just the phone, invite mentors/mentees to type out questions, answer questions, or record learnings in the chat box. Depending on which platform you are using, employ the "raise hand" feature for input, and do you best to intentionally engage all those on the call. Above all else, seek to be yourself.
Arrive Early: Arriving a couple minutes early not only provides you with opportunity to test out your video and audio before the call starts, but it also can provide space to naturally engage. As is true of most in-person meetings, the minutes before a call are a great opportunity to check-in and get a sense of how people are feeling as they enter the space.
Be Okay With A Pause: While it may feel awkward, silence on a call is not to be dreaded, but rather embraced! How well do you know your team? How do they prefer to process and discuss with others? Sometimes, giving participants a moment to think about a question asked is not only helpful for those who process internally, but also to give some time for all participants to consider difficult and personal questions. As hard as it can be, a little space can often go a long way.
Also, here's a short video on Best Practices for Video Conferencing. Do you have other ways and tips to make the most of video calls? Let our ELI team know at firstname.lastname@example.org.