June 2023 Newsletter

Trust and Psychological Safety Matter!

After our team presents the Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification (VFTC) program for a client, we always ask participants to complete a post-course evaluation and we schedule a debriefing call with the client. We value continuous improvement, and we take the suggestions and feedback we receive to heart. In fact, whenever a client gives us feedback, we are happy!


During a recent VFTC program, our client began giving us constructive feedback via email during the first webinar delivery. Our delivery team pivoted immediately, adding new content, and focusing on ensuring that the client’s expectations were exceeded during the next two webinars. I just got off our final debriefing call and was gratified to hear that their participants were uniformly positive, praising how interactive and engaging the program was, and acknowledging that even the veteran trainers on the team learned techniques that will improve their virtual training deliveries. They also had a couple of suggestions that we intend to implement before we deliver the next VFTC.


Why am I telling you this? Well, I am embarrassed to admit this, but I used to bristle at constructive feedback. It was difficult for me to hear that we may have missed the mark during a training delivery. Fortunately, I have learned to embrace the client’s desire to be a full partner with us. Full partners give both positive and negative feedback. The client who is willing to speak up when their needs aren’t being met gives us the opportunity to course correct and get it right for them. For that level of partnership to occur, there must be trust and psychological safety.


But let me share a “how not to give feedback” example as well. A few years ago, I delivered a two-day training workshop, in person, in another city. When I arrived at the training location and was setting up, I realized that there were no flipchart easels in the hotel meeting room. I asked the client if those easels had been ordered. This question triggered an explosion as my client lost his temper and began ranting that we hadn’t requested them, and he wasn’t going to pay for them.


Looking at my watch, I knew that participants were going to start arriving in a few minutes. I also knew that I needed those flipchart easels! I went into another room, did some deep breathing exercises to calm myself down, and ran to the business center. There I found two flipchart easels which the hotel was happy to let me use at no charge. They delivered them to the meeting room in plenty of time to begin the workshop. Ironically, the training program was focused on better communication and conflict resolution skills.


I share this example because for me, my client stopped operating as a full partner the minute he started yelling at me. I wanted to create an environment of trust and safety for his team. And I was very aware that this team worked for a volatile boss who seemed more interested in assigning blame than solving a problem. To his credit, during the workshop, he acknowledged to his team that he sometimes over-reacted to bad news and would strive to change this behavior.


Trust and psychological safety matter in the virtual classroom as well. We’ll explore the factors that create and undermine trust in our next NetSpeed Nuggets session. Join us at this 30-minute, complimentary session, Virtual Training: Building Trust and Psychological Safety, on Wednesday, July 19, at 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT. Registration is required.

Cynthia Clay

Virtual Trainer Tips: Structure Creates Clarity and Ease

I’m standing on my soapbox to say once again, “Please don’t try to wing it in a virtual meeting or the virtual classroom.”


If you are the facilitator for an upcoming virtual event, take time to plan it. Set objectives, outline the agenda, build your polls, practice using your annotation tools, do a dry run, and collaborate with your producer.


For participants, there is nothing more frustrating than attending a virtual event that gets bogged down while the facilitator builds a poll, troubleshoots their web cam, or mulls over what people will discuss in their breakout rooms.


Structure creates clarity and ease. In the busyness of our days, it can be tempting to wing it. Instead, block out time to plan and prepare. Your participants will appreciate the effort to ensure their time is used wisely. 

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.

Training Hacks: Building Trust and Psychological Safety

Have you ever wondered whether the participants in your virtual or hybrid sessions were participating wholeheartedly? The mark of an unsuccessful virtual training event is the feeling of disconnection and isolation. As the virtual facilitator, there are concrete techniques you can use to increase trust and safety online. If you want to gain an easy flow of ideas, increase people’s willingness to share their ideas and opinions, and build trusting relationships in your virtual or hybrid training sessions, join Cynthia Clay to explore six surefire techniques to increase psychological safety.

Wednesday, July 19th, 1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT. Complimentary.

Learn More and Register

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 July Virtual Producer Training! Class starts Thursday, July 18th. Pre-webinar assignments start Thursday, July 11th.

Become a Certified Online Learning Facilitator

Now is the time to build stronger virtual facilitation skills!

The Jul/Aug 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 Jul/Aug course opens on Friday, July 7th with the first webinar on Friday, July 14th.

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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