how to connect with your friends and family over video

How to Better Connect With Your Friends and Family Over Video

Practical Ways To Connect Remotely in the Midst of Social Distancing

One of the true delights during this challenging time of social distancing is watching the creative use of technology—not only as we work from home, but in our personal lives as well. The world is proving that connecting with your friends and family over video is an easy and inexpensive way to bring a bit of joy and connection during these scary times.

I’ve gathered with my yoga friends for a bit of prana meditation and yoga Nidra, sang with my women’s a capella group and hosted a virtual happy hour for our family.  David played hours of some complicated game I don’t understand over Zoom with his childhood friends.

No, it’s not the same as being there. But there’s a poignant upside of doing the best we can from where we are. Asking “How can we?” while we connect in love, solidarity, and support.

I’ve also been buoyed by watching the clever leadership of friends over social media, hosting remote movie nights and dance parties.

That’s the essence of leadership, isn’t it? Seeing a need and finding a way to make it happen.

Conversation Starters For Connecting With Friends and Family Over Video

It struck me that connecting with friends and family over video might feel intimidating if remote meetings are not your normal jam. So I’ve put together some ideas to help get you started.

A Waterfall of Words

This is a technique we’ve been using for years in our live-online programs, leveraging the chat function.

Start with priming the conversation, “Okay, get your fingers on the keyboard, and type in your short (one or two words) answer to this question.”

And then give a prompt.

  • What’s one food have you stockpiled to ensure you absolutely won’t run out?
  • What’s one thing you’re grateful for today?
  • Would you rather (take a hike…or complete a puzzle; order take-out or cook a fancy meal; read a book or watch a movie.)
  • What’s the best movie you’ve watched so far?
  • If you were coming to my house for dinner, what would you bring?

Show and Tell

Invite your family and friends to share something creative they’ve been working on during this time of social distancing. It’s fun to discover the poems, stories, and songs being written, wood being carved, and other endeavors.

Virtual Sing-Along

Pick an easy, inspiring or fun song and invite everyone to sing along. Worst case it will be good for a good laugh. Sweet Caroline (click here for Karaoke version) works particularly well if you’re going for silly. Extra points if you go Jimmy Fallon style with kid’s instruments or pots and pans.

We closed with Let it Be. Powerful despite the delays with the connection. My cousin called it a “round.” Yeah, let’s go with that.

Go Deeper

Of course, another benefit of connecting with friends and family over video is to have deeper conversations about what’s going on and how you can best support one another.

Some conversation starters:

  • What’s something beautiful you’ve noticed this week?
  • How are you feeling?
  • What is making this time particularly challenging for you?
  • Have you found approaches to stay grounded during this time? What are they?
  • How can we be most helpful?
  • What ideas do you have for how we can continue to support one another during this time?

It’s been amazing to me to see how the simplest prompts lead to significant conversation.

Your turn.

I’d love to hear about your experiences and best practices. What are you doing to stay connected with family and friends over video?

Bonus: A Practical Guide to the Logistics Behind Better Video Meetings

We built this video guide to assist our clients in transitioning to remote meetings at work. These easy tips apply when spending time with friends and family over video as well.

 

See Also:

How to Connect Friends and Family While Social Distancing

How to Lead Through Urgent Change and Strain

Developing Leadership Skills in Children: 11 Ways to Grow Your Kids

How to Lead a Team That Suddenly Has to Work From Home

Posted in Commitment, Developing Leadership In Children, Everything Else and tagged , , .

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt, Founder of Let’s Grow Leaders, helps leaders around the world achieve breakthrough results, without losing their soul. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR. She was named on Inc's list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers and American Management Association's 50 Leaders to Watch. She’s the author of several books: Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates (Harper Collins Summer 2020), Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul, Overcoming an Imperfect Boss, and Glowstone Peak.

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