1) Face to face is best when communicating! You get to see and feel all verbal and non verbal things, see facial expressions, laugh together instantaneously. In a group setting, try to standup / or sit down … form a circle facing each other. Then have a conversation!
Online? Get a laptop camera and turn it on during meetings!
2) In a group session, it is best to have no one dominating the conversation. Use the concept of the ‘Talking Stick’ (see and read image below)… to provide equal opportunity for everyone to talk and be heard. The ‘talking stick’ has been used by the Navajos to bestow respect on the one who is talking; after one is finished talking, the stick is passed on to the next person… this goes on until all have spoken… this can go on for some more rounds to widen and deepen their thoughts or build on the thoughts of others… this slows down the conversation BUT it makes it deeper and richer — creating the higher quality of connection and interaction.
These two simple ideas provide people the equal opportunity to be seen and heard … definitely increase the quality of connections and interactions amongst people.
Use these two simple ideas in your training classes, daily Standup, retrospectives, team coaching, agility health peer review meetings… even during family dinner time… specially on thanksgiving dinner with family, friends and relatives… you get my drift. Use it now!