Friday, August 04, 2006

More on Telephone Faciltiation

On the Onlinefacilitation list, a question came up about good resources for telephone facilitation. A number of articles were found, but nothing really complete. So we thought, why not build a wiki book? This is our first attempt. If you would like to join it, let me know. (We are working on Writely , which is currently not accepting new users, but I can add a few more people to work on a document. So leave me an email - nancyw at fullcirc dot com or comment. Or offer any suggestions in comments if you are reading this in Nancy's Blog - I decided it might be useful to blog this when Beth pinged me today asking for the URL.)

What would we want to write about facilitating groups on the telephone? Let's brainstorm some general categories first. We can decide later.

Here's our starting point. Feel free to suggest new pages if you want to dig into any one bit.

Telephone calls for groups in:

  • meetings
  • project management teams
  • learning events
  • guest speaker presentations
  • orientation or closure for online activity/event
  • networks
  • presentations/pitches

Teleconferences support processes of:

  • decision making (convergence)
  • problem solving/conflict resolution
  • fun/play
  • relationship building
  • brainstorming
  • teamwork
  • knowledge sharing
  • information delivery


  • Planning calls
    • Integrating with other media and modes of communication
      (online, face-to-face, presentation media and print resources).
      • How to integrate visuals
      • Collecting topics from asynchronous discussions (email lists or web boards)
      • Posting audio recordings or notes so that they support asynchronous interaction

    • Identifying roles in advance
      • Facilitator or master of cermonies
        • When to speak, frequency, but not necessarily amount of speaking
      • Having a "greeter" who arrives early and welcomes people as they arrive helps them orient socially
      • Designated presenters or speakers who are experts in the topic
  • Time zones - how to pick a time that works for people around the globe
  • Building sociability and relationship on group telephone calls
    • Ways to help visualize people and ideas in an aural environment
    • EEKim - Shared Visual Display
    • Going beyond introductions - what can help build relationship, sense of individuals and of the group?
      • Vary intro topics to fit the actual topic of the call
      • Don't have to do everything on one call
    • Intercultural and language issues

Potential FAQ's
  • How to use silence in phone calls (silence, bells, sounds, etc.)
  • What to do with distracting noises, on-hold music and other PITAs (process and technology based solutions)
  • Issues around size of group (what size is the max for full participation of all? When do you move to a different model? tool?)
Resources - Other useful articles on the net about telephone faciltiation
Contributors to this Resource:
  • Nancy White
  • Bronwyn Stuckey
  • Beth Kanter
  • John Smith


Anonymous Alan Gutierrez said...

Good timing on this message. I'm hosting conference calls where neighborhoods can ask questions of the urban planners that they must choose from in order to move forward with rebuilding in New Orleans.

Audio Town Hall Launch

The calls themselves are very interesting, but the audio coming out of them is goofy. The levels are all wrong, and I can't tell if it's the service, or a single bad cell phone, that's causing the calls to sound rough.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Joitske Hulsebosch said...

hi Nancy, very useful, I'll tag it! How about a category about combining different media (phone, VOIP, IM)?

And I don't know where making a difference between group stages would go; new groups, established groups, etc. ?

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Beth said...

Nancy thanks for the URL! I was in the room co-leading a workshop on web2.0 tools for D&D folks. We started with some stories and I told the story of this FAQ - how a wiki can easily facilitate collaborative writing oa document for loosely coupled group of professionals.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Beth said...

Oh, I like Joitske's suggestion - maybe something about SKYPE.

2:54 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Full Circle Associates
4616 25th Avenue NE, PMB #126 - Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 517-4754 -