Re­mote Work­ing

Business Traveller (Africa) - - CONTENTS - Source:

Busi­ness trav­ellers are away from their home bases of­ten and get­ting work done while on the road can prove chal­leng­ing. This seg­ment, cou­pled with the grow­ing free­lancer and en­tre­pre­neur work­force, has given rise to a new kind of of­fice, with club mem­ber­ship. Jenny Southan in­ves­ti­gates this phe­nom­e­non.

This has be­come a com­mon el­e­ment in many mod­ern-day con­fer­ences, but so many event or­gan­is­ers get it wrong. Here, Amer­i­can psy­chol­o­gist and au­thor, Adam Grant, pro­vides some tips on how to get it right:

1. Keep it small – the best pan­els have a mod­er­a­tor and no more than two or three guests. Larger pan­els cre­ate more com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co-or­di­na­tion dif­fi­cul­ties.

2. In­vite peo­ple who com­ple­ment each other – you need a mix of sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences. Ev­ery pan­el­list should fit into a com­mon topic but stand out based on hav­ing unique in­sights or ex­pe­ri­ences.

3. De­sign for re­la­tion­ships be­tween the pan­el­lists in­vite peo­ple who ac­tu­ally know each other. They’re used to hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions to­gether, they’re fa­mil­iar with each other’s views, and they’re more likely to be com­fort­able de­bat­ing and dis­agree­ing re­spect­fully.

4. En­cour­age the pan­el­lists to talk to each other –a rookie mis­take is when pan­el­lists are all hav­ing in­di­vid­ual con­ver­sa­tions with the mod­er­a­tor. 5. Ask them to keep their com­ments short – the most com­pelling re­sponses are usu­ally no more than 60 sec­onds.

6. Don’t let ev­ery pan­el­list an­swer ev­ery ques­tion – that im­me­di­ately de­volves into mind-numb­ing turn-tak­ing.

7. Tell them you might in­ter­rupt them – the mod­er­a­tor’s job is to guide the con­ver­sa­tion to make it worth­while for the au­di­ence.

8. Start by ask­ing for a story – pan­els fall flat when par­tic­i­pants never get to share their knowl­edge – and the au­di­ence has no con­text for why they’re there.

9. Pose questions that make the au­di­ence—and the pan­el­lists—think - the rich­est questions of­ten start with why (to get at mo­ti­va­tion/pur­pose) and how (to get at strat­egy/tac­tics).

10. Run a light­ning round – come ready with a few questions that pan­el­lists can an­swer in a word or a sen­tence. It can be a fun ap­pe­tizer early on, or a strong clos­ing.

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