Advising In A Virtual Environment

While COVID-19 has shifted the way our organizations are operating, the ability to provide support virtually will be an important skill set for our volunteers moving forward. Here are a few tips to assist our volunteers in identifying approaches and strategies that will help you to continue to be successful.

Communication

Identify preferred methods of communication: When meeting face to face isn’t an option, identify the best ways to engage. This can be also be influenced by the purpose of the meeting and what you need to accomplish. Some of the most common ways to connect include text, email, social media, phone calls, or virtual platforms.

Be organized: Have a plan for any scheduled meeting. An organized meeting will help ensure that the meeting runs smoothly and attendees feel like it was a productive use of their time.

Have a role to play: No one likes to attend a meeting that they feel could have been an email. Ensuring everyone has a role to play in a meeting creates buy-in and is one way to help ensure that folks are prepared and ready to participate.

Accountability and Organization

Keep your calendar updated: Calendar management is crucial to planning and executing meetings and tasks. Whether you use an online calendar or an old-school method of a paper planner, take time to use your calendar as a tool to help boost productivity and stay on top of all your meetings and to-do lists.

Set reminders: It is easy for projects, meetings, and deadlines to blur together. This is especially true if you’re not meeting face-to-face. Setting reminders can help you stay on track and keep projects moving forward.

Health and Wellbeing

How are you: Taking time to check in with those you are meeting with can go a long way toward letting them know that you care about them as an individual. If you do ask a question like this, be sure to take time to listen to the answer.

Encourage conversations about wellbeing: Creating a culture of health and wellbeing is an important step. You can encourage the organization to find ways to incorporate both physical and mental health topics into their operations.

Be familiar with campus resources: While each campus is different, it is very helpful to understand the campus offices and staff available to provide resources and support for our members. Whether it is the campus Health and Wellness office, Office of Student Life, or other student organizations, these groups can help provide guidance and programming for our organizations and a unique opportunity to build relationships across campus.

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