Let’s Make Better Use of the Chat Box

The Chat box is highly underrated. All meeting spaces have this feature, but it is not often used. And even more rarely, explored.

Here are some great reasons to use the Chat box:

  • to invite in all voices

Rarely does everyone have a voice in a session (in-person or virtual). Since meaning-making is personal, every learner needs opportunities to communicate their thoughts and experiences.

  • to share resources or information

The Chat box is a great place to offer additional resources as a presentation or discussion is happening. This is one reason why it is helpful to have a co-facilitator – they can attend to Chat box.

  • to engage participants 

Anytime you invite learners to do something in the Chat box, you are intentionally engaging each individual. Since learning is in the doing and the deciding, the Chat box can be helpful.

  • to ensure relevance 

Personal meaning-making needs to happen for each person. One way to help with this is to invite everyone to share examples about what is being discussed, name potential application in their own work/life, or voice questions about their own context.

  • to invite dialogue

It can be energizing for some to have a secondary dialogue stream happening in the Chat box. This can be a helpful space for lively debate about what a presenter is saying or the work in the large group. You will need a co-facilitator for this, to help encourage and (in some cases) get things started.

How have you used the Chat box feature to enliven dialogue?


Jeanette Romkema (jeanette@globallearningpartners.com) is GLP Senior Partner and Vision & Strategy Leader. Tyler Phillips (tyler@globallearningpartners.com)is GLP Partner.

Here are more GLP blogs by Jeanette and Tyler.

Download this tip sheet and get more tips for working virtually here.

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