Meeting up... but not...
I’m changing my ‘default position’ for continuing discussions beyond email. My default will become to continue conversations online, rather than to start with the default of arranging to meet up.
Part of this is that I’m attempting to cut down the amount I travel (pick your favourite justification from saving time/money/environment, sheer laziness/lack of dedication to the cause/providing a shining example of how the internet can be used within daily routines...)
However, I’m also really interested in understanding where online meetings can be better than (or replace) physical meetings, and equally, where travelling and meeting up is necessary (or adds considerable value). I recognise the importance of face to face meetings, of course. Of the importance of body language, micro-gestures and the psychology of holding discussions within ‘social distance’; the socialising over coffee or the handshake at the end of the meeting.
As virtual approaches merge with traditional business practices, there is a lot of interest in exploring the overlap between the two. However, I am increasingly interested in the shrinking area that isn’t being blurred. The space that fits firmly within ‘not appropriate for digital’ becomes more and more defined as larger sections of business practices become integrated (or blurred) with digital.
So the question for me isn’t when is it appropriate for me to arrange on online meeting, but becomes, when is it appropriate for me not to arrange an online meeting and to arrange a physical meeting instead.
I’d like to use this as an opportunity to support others to try online meetings (even if parts go wrong) – to test out whether it could be a useful approach for you too. So if you’re looking to meet up but have never (or rarely) used video conferencing, let’s use our meeting as a chance to practise. Let’s build in an extra 10 minutes to our meeting and call it ‘professional development’ in trying new approaches, or ‘personal investment’ in understanding how much we can save in time (travelling between meetings), money (travel costs), and energy that can be applied to other areas of our work.
I look forward to meeting you. Virtually. Some options to do that are below.
|Phone call||Landline or mobile number||Please let me know some times that you’re free for a call|
You’ve got a Google Plus account and a microphone/headset and (optional) webcam
Particularly useful when more than one person is joining the videocall
|Please send me an email from your account linked to Google Plus, and we can arrange a Hangout||Here|
|Skype call||Skype installed on your computer; microphone/headset and (optional) webcam||Please send a Skype contact request to: dansutch and we can arrange a Skype call||Here|
|Video conference (nothing installed)||Microphone/headset and (optional) webcam (You don’t need any special software installed on your computer)||Please arrange a time to talk and I’ll send you a url so that we can video-conference and screen share||Instructions/guideance will come in an email|
|Physical meeting||Oxford, London, Bristol (or let me know where is best for you)||Let me know where you’d like to meet and we can begin to arrange a convenient date/time|