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How muting kills engagement

On my mission to improve virtual and hybrid work: Stop MUTING, Start Talking!

Ever asked yourself,
why there is this strange silence
and little participation
in virtual meetings?

Before Covid, when many had little technical skills 😉 we learned that muting our microphones prohibits echo and ugly noises. During Lockdowns, we had the chance to learn, how virtual communication works, how important a good camera and lightening is, that a decent microphone dramatically enhances, how your messages come across.

New Work, Hybrid Work – virtual calls, meetings or conferences will stay. But shouldn’t we re-think our behavior, as one common issue in non-physical meetings is the lack of engagement, missing „vibrant“ discussions and an „natural“ atmosphere?

In our research and experimenting we found one important reason for that – and once this is changed, our virtual meetings became a lot better!

If you start your meeting with this:

it feels a bit like someone welcomes you with „SHUT UP – I don’t want to hear you/don’t disturb me!“ At least it is a clear message, not to actively take part, as there is a big fear of ?

Demanding muted microphones
might cause demotivation

Of course there are reasons for muting everyone, but then it would be recommended to use a „Broadcast“ session, where only the speaker can talk. For meetings, workshops or participative events, I would highly recommend, not to demotivate people by demanding „silence“. In the end, this is what I get – disconnected people in listening mode.

We tried: „PLEASE UNMUTE as default“
in many different meetings, workshops and events
and this is what happened:

(mehr …)

Feedback = Engagement

One power of social media is in the ease of sharing feedback in many forms. We still see many people struggling with a simple „Thank You“ – which (quite some time ago) I gathered my experience and made a personal, practical feedback recommendation guide. The „features“ needed for this are extremely simple to operate and are available on any! social platform.

feedback by harald-schirmer.de

Maybe that is also helpful for you:

So, how to give Feedback in (Enterprise) Social Media?

… by showing appreciation, asking questions also critical feedback is great or saying „Thank You“ or „Well done“ …this is so engaging! Also supporting with your profession or competence to further develop the content is a great feedback. (see also Working Out Loud)

In the „digital world“ (LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, XING, Connect, Yammer, Jive and any other social platform) it works exactly in the same way – and since we work globally together, in a virtual environment you can choose from the following „engagement“ levels: (mehr …)

Ask your great Employees – you hired the best ones!

Organizations are so strange. Everyone wants the high potentials, the best employees on the market. But once they are hired, they are often put into the „leader“ (think, involve, solution) and the „employee“ (work, follow, problem) drawer.

So employees are not being asked or involved in decision making or planning. That might sound black and white, but ask yourself:

 

Who is asked in your organization,
once a decision is needed?
Leaders or Employees

 

I am happy to share with you the results of one of my recent projects at Continental on my future work mission – the Flexibility Engagement Campaign – For people, with people.

 

 

Click below to read the full story with additional videos, results and summary presentation:

(mehr …)

GUIDEs: How I found the most passionate Change Agents

Lately more and more people  asked me about the GUIDE Self Introduction Form, which I developed as an application form (and filter) to find voluntary Change Agents. Here it is – with some background information and how I put it together (and why) It has been a lessons learned review for me as well – so thanks for the trigger.

In 2012 I had the task to drive a huge culture change at Continental – introducing Enterprise Social Networking. To reach all our (back than) 86.000 colleagues with access to a computer, I needed a network of passionate change agents. My goal was to have at least one in every location (in 50 countries) and this „GUIDE“ should not have to take care of more than 200 people, personally. So I had to find about 400 highly engaged, self driven colleagues in all levels, all regions, functions and age – also hierarchy level.

 

guide_self_intro_form

 

How to find 400 passionate change agents (without THEM knowing, they could be) The only fast communication channel, back than has been eMail, so I won over our CFO and CHO to send out a short note to every colleague worldwide:

 

„Are you a motivated, curious, communicative person? Do you want to become part of a global GUIDE network demonstrating a new method of communication and collaboration?“ Apply to be a GUIDE by filling out this short Self Introduction Form

 

During the three year journey, I never mentioned Change Management tools, methods or terms or called anyone „Change Agent“.

Many had doubts that those „voluntary“ colleagues could do the job

I did not ask for grades, positions, functions, education levels. The only request I made has been:

(mehr …)

Core elements of digital collaboration platforms

What do almost all collaboration platforms have in common?

learning the basics about the
five core elements of digital collaboration,
will make your life a lot easier!

No matter if it is UBER, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Slack, LinkedIn, My Hammer, eBay, YouTube, ESN…? Many people struggle about the great amount of different platforms. Once they realize that mostly they are depending on others, which platform they should use (because the company uses it, an event participation requires you to use it, you university or even your sports club), many are frustrated because of the huge variety of available platforms, apps and systems.

 

20160918_core_digital

Let’s make it easy again!

They almost all work quite similar:

Taking a closer look, most platforms start with a registration (mehr …)

Management = ineffiziente Führung

Denk mal mitIn einem Vortrag gestern auf der CeBIT habe ich folgenden Satz vertreten:

„Management is die denkbar
ineffizienteste Form der Menschenführung!“

und nicht mehr nachhaltig!

Dazu ein paar Stichpunkte:

Management bedeutet für mich „Command & Control“ also steuern, Befehle geben und kontrollieren. Das passt wunderbar für Dinge, Ressourcen, Maschinen, Werkzeuge – nicht aber für Menschen, für Kultur oder auch Veränderung (dafür wird es nach wie vor gerne verwendet)

Leadership (mehr …)

IBM Connect in Orlando

Once a year the social collaboration professionals and enthusiasts meet in Orlando / USA to present their new ideas, software and achievements in social adoption. IBM as the host of this huge event with about 6.000 participants demonstrated great logistic skills and built a perfect base for all the presentations, sessions, trainings, executive meetings and global networking.

The two major opening shows where really impressive with many VIP guests, who almost all had great stories to tell – as well entertaining and educating. I sure hope we will see some of them as video recordings.

IBM Connect 2014 in Orlando

IBM Connect 2014 in Orlando

 

Also the sessions, where we could meet the product managers and developers where a great opportunity to address important topics directly – and build efficient networks 😉

I want to give you a very brief „notes – protocol“ and some quotes and own thoughts I gathered during the six days – you might get an idea and some inspiration, what it was all about. (mehr …)