The Virtual Meeting Coach

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Archive for the ‘carbon footprint’ Category

The Virtual Meeting Coach’s Love Song to The Gulf of Mexico

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Want the change. Be inspired by the flame where everything shines as it disappears.
- Rainer Marie Rilke

Okay, I’m breathing deliberately at my desk. I’m taking short walks and breathing deliberately. I’m meditating. I’m chanting. I’m practicing the Power of Now, the Law of Attraction and doing The Work. I’m crying. And I’m still not okay about watching, helplessly, as the Gulf of Mexico turns into a toxic waste site.

I grew up going to the Gulf on vacations to swim with my family from the time I was a tiny girl. Then, when I was a teenager, we moved to the west coast of Florida and my adolescence was spent swimming on Lido Beach and Longboat Key. I had a short stint up in Georgia while I went to college and started a family, but I always went home to the Gulf to find my bearings. And I took my kids there from the time they were little. Even when I moved to Austin, I made as many trips as possible to the east coast of Texas to immerse myself in my beautiful Gulf. My whole life, it’s been my holy water.

So, while I’m now living in southern Oregon, I might as well be right there on the coast of Louisiana because I FEEL what’s happening there – every second – deep in my heart. And I’m at my wit’s end. I feel angry, helpless, and so sad I can barely breathe.

And, the worst part is I’ve been telling myself I don’t know what I can do – from up here – to help. Friends, colleagues and clients tell me they’re feeling the same anger, helplessness and sadness. My friend and colleague, Sharon Drew Morgan, even wrote a totally wacky post in her biz blog this week about Aliens and their possible role in this tragedy.

In fact, it was Sharon Drew’s post that actually shook me out of the trance of helpless rage at BP for failing to take responsibility for what’s happening. The insanity of talking about aliens popped my attention over to my personal responsibility as a driver whose demand for gasoline to power my car continues to fuel BP’s race to produce oil to meet that demand – at any cost.

And here’s a fresh video about the cost. The real cost:

So, What Can We Do – From Right Where We Are – About the Disaster in the Gulf?
If you can watch that footage without wanting to vomit, you’re a better wo/man than I. I can barely stand to watch it. Because I loved those waters. I loved those fish. And I love every single shell that washed up on the pristine, white sands of those beaches  since I first set my little foot on them. I’ve been picking up shells from Gulf beaches since I was three years old – shells left by sea creatures who died a natural death in those waters.

I simply cannot physically go down to the Gulf right now to help with the clean up. I’ve had the same kind of financially challenging year that everyone else has and I don’t have the cash to take off work and drive or fly down there right now to help with the clean up in person.

But, I can do something from right here. I can stand up – in my full humanity – and lead sans  shame or embarrassment. Like this guy:

Who cares if I look like a fool to start with? This is our precious Gulf of Mexico!!

So, here’s my declaration:

I can – and I will – offer every day to help people who sell professional services learn to use virtual meetings to start delivering some of your services without having to get into your cars to drive somewhere just so you can sit down in a room to work with other people. Sometimes we have to, but we don’t always have to do this!!

I can – and I will – keep reminding people through this blog that until we all learn to use these tools in skillful ways, we are just blowing smoke when we open our mouths and speak about “greening” this economy or “saving the environment.”

It’s time now for us to walk our talk! Will you join me?

The Times They Are A’Changin’
If you don’t know how to use virtual meetings to work with clients and colleagues at a distance, you have no other choice but to walk, ride your bike, ride the bus, or get into your car – or fly – to work with other people! But not having another choice is simply no excuse when the tools to work collaboratively – and at a distance – are FREE and I’m here to help you learn to use them!

The truth of the matter is this: Until each of us knows enough to be able to exercise choice with our colleagues and clients – ie., to work virtually sometimes, using live meeting tools and Web 2.0 collaborative applications, whenever doing so won’t damage crucial relationships – each of us must take personal responsible for creating the tragedy in the Gulf.

It is our driving habits that are the driving force in the demand for oil production.
Along with BP and lazy, selfish congressional regulators, it is YOU AND I who must take full responsibility for what our unquestioned – frequently senseless – work routines and habits are now doing to drive the demand for oil that is killing the Gulf and the other precious oceans!

So, how about singing along with me and Don Henley and song-writer extraordinaire Bob Dylan (celebrating his 69th birthday this week)? How about learning to use virtual meeting tools? And how about starting NOW?

Want to Do More Than Just Sing?
I’m starting up a new Madhatter’s Tea Party Group Coaching Program in July. It’s going to be fun…and it’s just not that damn hard!

If you want to participate, contact me this week right here for a FREE 20-minute consultation: http://virtualmeetingstartup.com/contact.html.

And if not now, when? While we keep fiddling around, the Gulf is burning.

Speaking of fiddling, a million thanks to Diana Fairbanks whose wide-ranging, quirky intelligence and warm friendship brought both the Rilke poem and the Leadership Guy vid to my attention early Thursday. You can enjoy her eclectic taste in music here on her new station at Blip.fm as you ponder next steps….

Delaware General Assembly Says Yes to Virtual Meetings For Governmental Boards

Monday, June 29th, 2009
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Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

SB104, a bill authorizing the use of virtual meetings for parts of state governance, passed the Delaware House today by unanimous vote, June 29, 2009, paving the way for virtual meetings to support broader participation in the democratic process across the “First State.” The bill passed the Delaware Senate earlier this month by a healthy margin.

Co-sponsored by Representative Greg Lavelle, and Senator Liane Sorenson, SB104 allows governmental bodies, including boards and commissions, to set up videoconferencing locations to facilitate participation in meetings via teleconference. If the bill is signed by Delaware Governor Markell, video locations will also be opened to the public, allowing residents who live downstate from Wilmington to participate in meetings without having to drive to the capitol.

Delaware Governor Markell calls SB104, “a good government bill.” According to Markell, ” this legislation will make it easier for members of boards and commissions to attend meetings and for the public to view the meetings without having to drive a long distance. Expanding the use of teleconferencing will help our environment by taking cars off the road, save taxpayer money and make government more transparent.”  More details on SB104 can be found here.

21 Things You Can Do In A Free Virtual Meeting Room

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

It’s Wednesday afternoon at 3pm: you’ve got to leave the office one more time to drive across town and sit with a client to explain a complex document.

Or it’s Friday morning at 10am: your partner can’t make it back today to meet with the Board chair, so you’re scouring the office for a recorder and a mic so you can at least record your conversation.

Or it’s Tuesday at 5pm: your client just made crucial changes to your project plan. You need to alert the rest of the team to change direction right away. Only three people are out of town and so is your boss.

Just another day in paradise, right?

People who make a living selling their expertise need help saving time and reducing the costs of doing business.

The good news is that virtual meeting technologies give us the ability to do both right now.

In virtual meeting rooms, from two to two dozen people can easily share voice and visual data in real-time without anyone having to drive across town or fly across the state to do it. And, if you know how, you can do this for FREE!

When you understand how to use them effectively, free virtual meeting rooms afford you enormous freedom and save both time and money.

They allow you to conference with others over critical documents anywhere you can get on the internet. They spare you and your clients the headaches of rush-hour traffic jams and skyrocketing fuel costs, not to speak of the money you spend on hotel rooms and crummy restaurant food.

And they help you reduce the carbon footprint you’re leaving with all that business travel, too.

As you become more familiar with them, free internet conferencing tools can help you free up hundreds of hours and save from $5K to $50K – or more – a year!

Just off the top of my head, here are 21 things I know you can do just as well in a FREE virtual meeting room as you can face-to-face:

  1. Update participants on project teams without anyone having to travel.
  2. Train from 1 to 1000 people – presenting crucial information, taking questions, sharing answers.
  3. Collect input on a critical issue from a dispersed group of stakeholders.
  4. Discuss highlights in trend data with decision-makers without anyone having to travel.
  5. Qualify sales prospects so both parties are ensured of high productivity from face-to-face meetings.
  6. Do the same with job candidates.
  7. Collaborate securely around visual data in real-time with a dispersed group of experts.
  8. Include non-local stakeholders in a Board meeting.
  9. Provide customers both data and personal support when they’re experiencing difficulties making use of your products or services.
  10. Explain or clarify news about your company.
  11. Explain document complexities in a low-pressure context so you can negotiate contracts and close sales faster.
  12. Consult one-on-one with clients when you’re on the road, providing them both voice and visual support.
  13. Demonstrate confusing software operations.
  14. Record contributions made by meeting participants for later review – or so people unable to attend live can see and hear what happened.
  15. Poll stakeholders on crucial questions and explore their responses with them in real-time.
  16. Review a budget, line by line, making annotations and changes with others.
  17. Elicit and capture people’s informal feelings and needs (using text chat) while moving quickly through a formal presentation.
  18. Share pictures, diagrams and technical drawings in a secure environment, without delay and without travel.
  19. Reduce operating costs while enhancing the frequency, efficiency, and effectiveness of coworkers’ real-time communication and collaboration.
  20. Extend the reach of personal services to shut-ins and other people challenged by travel.
  21. Host interstate and international conferences without having to think about airport shuttling, parking, hotel reservations and setup, catering, or name badges.

How do I know you can do these things? Because I’ve done them all myself.

And, this is really just the tip of the iceberg!

Free virtual meeting tools offer independent business people and nonprofit organizations enormous potential benefits and savings.

Of course I would never recommend that you move ALL your meetings online. But as you begin to move the right ones into free virtual meeting rooms, you can pocket huge savings… and start using all that time and money for what’s really important to you – and the planet.

Save once – win two or three times over!

If you want to learn more about how to use these free technologies, stay tuned here. That’s what I’m all about.


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