You must consider these three questions before you take on the role of session leader for any meeting or workshop.

Prompted by “Three (Incredibly Simple) Questions The Most Successful People Use To Change The World,” Forbes contributor Mike Maddock published an article that could have been cut and paste (figuratively) from the FAST Facilitative Leadership manual. Indeed, to lead a successful meeting, the three questions (slightly modified) should be considered for every meeting or workshop, especially when you are the session leader, before meeting begins.

What is the deliverable?

(Forbes: What’s the outcome I want?)

Three Questions You Need to Answer Before Your Meeting Begins

Three Questions

Start with the end in mind. What does DONE look like? Where are you going? How do you know when you get there? For meetings, our focus is clearly on output (ie, a thing) rather than outcome (ie, a new condition) since we are typically unable to generate new outcomes before the meeting ends. We can however generate the input required to generate new outcomes, and that is the purpose of the meeting.

What are the problems and challenges I foresee?

(Forbes: What stands in my way?)

Emphasizing the importance of thorough preparation and interviewing meeting participants in advance, meeting time should be invested when collaboration is required or consensus is absolutely necessary. What people, issues, or components of the culture are going to get in the way of collaboration and consensus? Here answers yield insight necessary to build optimal agendas and activities for each specific group.

Who has already created this type of deliverable?

(Forbes: Who has figured it out already?)

Chances are, you are not the first session leader in the history of mankind to face your type of deliverable and situational challenges. Find others that have already done it. The manager of one FAST alumnus calls it, “Once stolen, half done.” Especially explore others within your own organization through formal networks like a Community of Practice (CoP) or Community of Excellence (CoE) and informal relationships and friendships. Learning from the experience of others will jumpstart your chances of success, so please do not be shy about asking for help.

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Finally, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on providing methodology. Each student thoroughly practices methodology and tools before class concludes. Some call this immersion. We call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Become Part of the Solution While You Improve Your Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology Skills

Take a class or forward this to someone who should. MG RUSH Professional Facilitation Training provides an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, 40 CDUs from IIBA, and 3.2 CEUs. As a member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF), our Professional Facilitation. Therefore, our training aligns with IAF Certification Principles and fully prepares alumni for their Certified Professional Facilitator designation.

Furthermore, our Professional Facilitation curriculum immerses students in the responsibilities and dynamics of an effective facilitator and methodologist. Because nobody is smarter than everybody, attend an MG RUSH  Professional Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology workshop offered around the world, see MG RUSH  for a current schedule.

Go to the Facilitation Training Store to access our in-house resources. You will discover numerous annotated agendas, break timers, and templates. Finally, take a few seconds to buy us a cup of coffee and please SHARE.

In conclusion, we dare you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

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Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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