February 2023 Newsletter

Consider Communication Styles to Improve your Virtual Training

Recently, I attended a virtual class that left me feeling frustrated. The facilitator had

designed and facilitated a course that he probably would have loved to attend. There

was a lot of open conversation, several breakout sessions to dive into discussion questions with small groups, and a very relaxed pace. I found myself bored and squirming. There were times when I had no idea why we were discussing a specific point at great length. There were few slides to enlighten me or provide structure to the sessions. In the end, I didn’t get much out of it and resented that I had given so much time to a wasted training experience.

My frustration got me thinking about communication styles and why they matter in

virtual training. To be clear, communication styles are not the same as learning styles. I’m not talking about whether people are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners.

The communication styles model in the NetSpeed Leadership® program introduces four styles: Anchor, Analyzer, Adventurer, and Achiever. Each of these communication styles has preferences and needs. When we communicate with people who do not share our style, we are bound to get better results if we consider their preferences and needs, not simply communicate using our favored style.

My two preferred styles are Analyzer and Adventurer. That means that I’m happiest when there is a logical flow, and when information is presented in such a way that I have time to digest it and synthesize it with other models. (That’s my Analyzer.) It also means that I value creativity and innovation in the design process. (That’s my

Adventurer.) I get bored with the same design approach used repeatedly (for example, read a book chapter, discuss the key points, and go into breakout groups to discuss a question).

However, when I design and facilitate a course, I must intentionally keep the needs of Anchors and Achievers in mind, not just design something that works for my communication style. That means I may need to allow time for personal connection (to meet the Anchor’s needs) and I may also need to have clear objectives and practical content (to meet the Achiever’s needs).

In our next NetSpeed Nuggets session, we will explore these four communication styles and how we can leverage them to create captivating experiences for all. Join us at this 30-minute, complimentary session, You Get Me! Leveraging Communication Styles in Virtual Training, on Wednesday, March 15, at 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT. Registration is required.

Cynthia Clay Signature
Cynthia Clay

Virtual Trainer Tips: Make Hybrid Meetings Inclusive

I’m noticing more and more clients are embracing the hybrid workplace. Scheduling

meetings is an interesting experience these days, as we book a conference room for an in-person meeting and then also provide a Zoom link. That means planning an inclusive meeting is more challenging than ever. When we ask people to RSVP, we also need to find out whether they are planning to attend in person or online.

When we plan our agendas, we need to ask, “How will I make this discussion inclusive?” When we design an interactive activity, we must consider whether we are giving too much weight to the people in the room over the people attending virtually.

I facilitated a hybrid meeting last week, so this is top of mind for me. While we had provided a Zoom link, everyone who RSVP’d said they would be there in person. I planned a storyboarding activity with post-it notes on flipchart pages. Surprise! Three people decided to attend virtually at the last minute. I had to take a few minutes to regroup and consider how to include our virtual participants.

I assigned someone in the meeting room to monitor chat for their comments. That person wrote the virtual participants’ ideas on post-it notes and placed them in the appropriate spots on the flipchart pages. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but the folks who were attending online told me they felt included and respected throughout the process.

Keep “inclusion” top of mind and you can make your hybrid meetings successful and engaging. 

NetSpeed Nuggets

Join us at the next NetSpeed Nuggets virtual session. These 30-minute, rapid learning sessions will introduce strategies and tactics that increase your effectiveness in the virtual workplace.

Virtual Training: You Get Me! Leveraging Communication Styles in Virtual Training

Imagine attending a virtual training session where you felt understood and included. Your needs for reflection, social engagement, practical content, or creative idea generation were respected. You can create that experience for your learners by keeping their communications styles in mind. Some styles want you to get to the point quickly, some love time to get to know their colleagues, some need space to reflect or work independently, and others are most attracted to novel activities. By holding their diverse needs in mind, you’ll get their attention and keep their engagement.

Join Cynthia Clay in this 30-minute session as we explore how to leverage communication style differences in the virtual classroom. Based on the Communication Styles model from the NetSpeed Leadership management training program, this fast-paced, interactive session will give you practical tips and techniques to leverage communication styles when you train online.

Wednesday, March 15th, 1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT. Complimentary.

Learn More and Register

Become a Certified Online Learning Facilitator

Now is the time to build stronger virtual facilitation skills!

The Mar/Apr 2023 Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification (VFTC) course is now open for enrollment.

This popular course has received rave reviews from participants as it provides a deep dive into best practices for virtual facilitation and design.

Now it's your turn to rock the virtual classroom! The Mar/Apr course opens on Friday, Mar 2nd with the first webinar on Friday, Mar 9th.

Become a Virtual Producer

Every virtual facilitator needs a capable virtual training producer.

As a skilled virtual training producer, you perform a critical role by supporting the virtual facilitator behind the scenes, manage the technology that can sometimes distract from the online learning experience and free the facilitator to focus on the content and the learners’ needs.

Develop your skills in our March Virtual Producer Training! Class starts Thursday, Mar 2nd. Pre-webinar assignments start Thursday, Feb 23rd.

Read More Client Testimonials
One Final Thought

Download our ebook, Create Great Hybrid and Virtual Training for tips and practical techniques for hybrid training.

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