Konektis has been working with Hetal Patel and her team since September 2020. They were early adopters on Video Meeting Signals (VMS) and very quickly found it helped them to overcome some of the difficulties they were experiencing with video meetings. Paul Hills from Konektis has worked with Hetal to understand how the team are using the signs and to help refine the Konektis approach, as well as helping Hetal with some coaching on meeting management.
Hetal Patel, STEPS Service Leader, SEND Outreach Services, Royal Borough of Greenwich
‘My team are very keen on the signs and they are actively using them, which has helped to create a more natural engagement and flow to our meetings. The signs make it easier for everyone to have an active involvement and contribute more. They also give people permission to interrupt and a way of doing so which does not disrupt the meeting flow. In face-to-face meetings I felt I could 'read the room' but this is very difficult on Zoom, However, now with everyone contributing more and being more active I can more easily tune in. I am getting more feedback and seeing more body language.'
Kay Dunham, Specialist Teacher and Assessor at STEPS, Royal Borough of Greenwich
‘I have attended three training sessions on virtual sign language and using Zoom with Paul Hills and have found that people attending relax really quickly and participate enthusiastically as he comes across as friendly and encouraging. At the first session I attended led by Paul, team members were feeling quite downhearted due to the ongoing lockdown and were subdued, but the effect of his session was to create a much warmer and positive atmosphere with team members feeling that they had communicated and shared feelings even though the meeting was on Zoom.
You often hear people complain about Zoom meetings, but I look forward to ours. When I have attended Zoom meetings where the signs are not used, I find myself desperate to teach them to everybody - they just do not run as smoothly and people are hesitant to speak in case they interrupt someone else. Using the signs taught to us by Paul has energised our meetings and enables us to communicate without frustration. We also use some of the signs when training school staff using Zoom and we find that they really help people to feel comfortable to contribute.'