About virtual meetings & psychological safety

- 200826

I was lucky to learn how to navigate virtual meetings a long time ago. First, I need to confess it wasn't learning so much as it was a baptism of fire. Managing remote teams came with lots of issues and lots of feedback, not always glowingly positive as you can imagine. Later on, I enrolled in the altMBA, the four-week online course to level up, brainchild of Seth Godin who I have written about previously. Within the first hours of entering our virtual learning space, a lot of intentional tools were directed towards us students, to guide our interactions, intentionally created to foster a collaborative spirit where one would be safely seen and heard - and not talked over, which on Zoom is sometimes hard to achieve.
Almost four years later and I couldn't have imagined that the whole world would be on Zoom and yet while we had to jump on the virtual meeting bandwagon, I don't believe that most of us have received any tools to support safe interactions within this new "office space" where it's so hard to naturally connect.
The good people at HBR have done a great job in my view to outline opportunities and risks associated with the common tools found in online meeting platforms. Why does this matter? To quote the article: *"Building psychological safety in virtual teams takes effort and strategy that pays off in engagement, collegiality, productive dissent, and idea generation."