https://www.bonnielowkramen.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/BTUAVIrtualDayOne.jpg 0 0 Bonnie Low-Kramen /wp-content/uploads/2020/08/bonnie-low-logo.png Bonnie Low-Kramen2020-10-05 20:13:002022-01-25 13:40:51A First. 3 Unexpected Surprises About Teaching a Virtual Executive Assistant Workshop
By Bonnie Low-Kramen
Going, going, gone…virtual! After 9 years of teaching the in-person, in cities all over the world, the pandemic made us go virtual on Zoom. And this happened for the first time a few weeks ago in September.
There were some unexpected surprises – 3 to be exact – that I want to tell you about. These surprises will help us be more ready for the next time.
I want to start by saying that firsts are always special. Even though this was BTUA #45 for Vickie Sokol Evans and me, there was much about this experience that felt brand new. Firsts are also exciting yet stressful, familiar yet disorienting. Our first BTUA Virtual was all those things and more.
Surprise #1 The virtual training environment felt intimate and personal.
As the instructor, my goal was to replicate the in-person feeling of the training as much as possible for our 18 students from 3 time zones. I was concerned about trying to build a powerfully interactive environment with assistants who were thousands of miles apart. It was amazing how connected we felt to be able to see a close-up of people’s faces as they spoke. Plus, there is something to be said for most of us being in our own homes during the two days that added to the experience.
The discussions were thoughtful and personal. Some of the students remarked how the Zoom environment felt even more personal than an in-person experience! That genuinely surprised me. Read more…
Surprise #2 Nothing stops Assistants from learning. Nothing.
Not minor technical issues, the West Coast wildfires, Hurricane Sally, interruptions from executives, children, and pets, learning and eating on Pacific time, or COVID-19 did not stop our BTUA students from showing up, hungry to learn. Truly, BTUA #45 was a case study in perseverance and determination. To sit in a virtual workshop for two full days is no small effort and these students were truly impressive. They take their professional development seriously and so do Vickie and I.
Surprise #3 You know those quick talks that happen on the way to the restroom on breaks? I missed them.
I admit it. I did. I’m talking about when we would take our breaks, I missed those quick chats that I would have with our students as we walked to the restroom or poured a cup of coffee. Sometimes that’s when I can spot some telling body language or learn something fascinating about our students. That aspect of our live in-person workshop turned out to be the thing I noticed the most about what I missed from not being together. That was another surprise. I suppose that is a small price to pay in exchange for being in my own home. Still…I missed them.
The bottom line is that virtual learning is here to stay, and I am happily embracing it to learn what more might be possible. Frankly, it’s a technological miracle that we all managed to find our way to the Zoom room to have a powerful learning experience that mattered.
So, for as long as we cannot physically be in a room together, virtual is the way to go. I’m a fan.
And when we do eventually get back together, maybe you’ll walk with me?
Our Be the Ultimate Assistant Tour Calendar for 2021 will be out soon! Can’t wait? Learn in your own space, at your own pace with Be the Ultimate Assistant On Demand with expert instructors Bonnie Low-Kramen & Vickie Sokol Evans, MCT. www.betheultimateassistant.com
I am Bonnie Low-Kramen, TEDx speaker, author of “Be the Ultimate Assistant” and trainer of Executive Assistants all over the world. In May, 2019, I was featured in a Forbes online cover story. As part of the research for my second book about the workplace to be published in 2022, I have had over 1,000 conversations with assistants, leaders, HR professionals, recruiters, and business school professors. I have worked in 14 countries and 38 states and would love to work with you towards building your ultimate workplace. Click here to set up a time to speak with me about your training needs which can be delivered virtually or in person.