Remote sessions are not the same thing as what happens when we meet in person. They are also not the same as a typical phone conversation or SKYPE or FaceTime calls you have with friends and family. Listed below are some guidelines for how to get the most benefit from our remote sessions.

1. The most important thing is to have privacy. I do my best to provide that when we meet in my office. But now it’s up to you. Please do everything possible to make sure you are in a private space where it is unlikely you will be heard or interrupted. You may need to ask others in your space to respect your privacy by doing things like turning on entertainment in another room or listening to something on headphones.

2. Try to make yourself comfortable, but not too comfortable. If you can, settle into a nice, comfortable chair. Avoid laying in bed or on your TV-watching lounge-couch. Try to arrange yourself in a position that allows you to be comfortable and awake.

3. Consider things you may need during the meeting. Put a box of tissues next to where you will be. If you want, pour yourself a glass of water or a cup of tea. But avoid having a snack or meal even though you may be reasonably close to your kitchen. Leave that for either before or after the session.

4. Please be sure to dress as you would if we were meeting in the office. Even though I may not be able to see all of what you are wearing, or any of it if the session is audio-only, the reality is that you know what you are wearing.

5. Turn off all devices other than the one you are using to make the call. If using a smartphone or computer, do your best to quit from all programs other than the one we are using and turn off all notifications if you can. It is best to leave your hands free by using headphones. If we are using audio-only then be sure to put your phone screen side down. If using a computer for audio-only, please either turn off your monitor or completely darken your screen.

6. Try to leave yourself an additional 15-minutes both before and after the session to wander around your place and clear your head. You are used to having a drive to and from my office, so giving yourself the extra time before and after is important. It is not a good idea to leave another remote meeting or end a call and then immediately call-in to start the session. You need some time to get ready for the work we are about to do. Similarly, after the session is over take some time before diving into the next activity. This will give time for the session to resonate before jumping back into whatever you have next.

7. Location is important. Please do your best to always meet from the same place during this period of time. Although that is not always possible, it makes a difference in helping you create a consistent, safe experience for yourself. When we meet in-person we share the same location. But now we do not. If you find yourself curious about where I am, please feel free to ask. I will do the same so I can imagine where you are.

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Just Economics of Western North Carolina (JE) is a regional, membership organization based in Asheville, NC. Their Mission is to educate, advocate, and organize for a just and sustainable economy that works for all in Western North Carolina. Click Here to learn more