Rituals for Virtual Meetings: Creative Ways to Engage People and Strengthen Relationships

Rituals for Virtual Meetings: Creative Ways to Engage People and Strengthen Relationships

Author: Kursat Ozenc and Glann Fajardo
Review by: Chris Preston

The Pandemic, and resultant global lockdown, hit us like a freight train. A number of authors (me included) leapt into action to draw together resources – books, content, commentary, guides – that would help people establish a new equilibrium of work. Now, as we transition, the current flavour is hybrid, and how to make that work (spoiler: it’s damn hard, but possible). So, when the book, Rituals for Virtual Meetings hit my desk recently – and it did hit, as it’s quite big – I mentally put it in the ‘bit late to the party’ category. Boy was I wrong.

Quite simply, I’m hooked on it. And it’s next to my computer constantly, with lots of post-its marking pages. It’s two things in one – a look at the core factors around team connection and inclusion in a virtual world, and a dip-in source of ideas and inspiration to make online meetings fly.

The authors, Kursat Ozenc and Glann Fajardo have packed the book full of practical ideas, session plans, preparation approaches… and more. I cannot do this book justice in a review, you are just going to have to buy one (plus one for a friend). It’s rare I do a hard sell on a book, but… buy it.

None of it is rocket science, but also a lot of it we don’t actually do. The simple ‘Hi by name’ exercise illustrates this. Seems obvious, right, that we’d use people’s names? But we don’t, and there’s a real power when we do. There’s other delights like the ‘Smell Together’ idea and the ‘Curiosity Timeout’ that we will be trying in our own team. Each tip comes with a simple, at-a-glance intro and they tend to be two pages long or less. That, for a busy professional, is an ideal resource. We’ve all had the dreaded 3pm slump meeting, and this book contains remedies galore.

It’s also full of depth, with commentary from leading thinkers and a structure to the toolkit that is, in itself, a piece of learning. Plus, there’s some great background science for virtual meetings, and meetings in general. Turns out they are more complex and contain greater hidden depth than most of us realise.

This book WILL stand the test of time – people will buy it, and love it, and they will easily customise the activities to work for a range of meetings, right from full-virtual to full-physical, and everything in between. When you get a copy (hint*) then keep it close, and make a habit of thumbing through it regularly. The images and ideas will inspire and make you smile.

*Reviewer has no financial gain from this book’s success… he just really, really likes it.

Published by Wiley

Chris Preston is a culture expert and one of the founding partners of The Culture Builders