Use Fist of Five for Contextual Questions

Use the Fist of Five to Test for Consensus on Contextual Issues

The Fist of Five approach combines the speed of thumbs up/ down and displays the degrees of agreement that can support more complicated decision spectrums. Using this tool, people vote using their hands and display fingers to represent their degree of support. Fist of Five Method When a group comes to consensus on an issue, it means that everyone in the group can…

Effective Facilitators Know Illness vs Wellness

The Most Effective Facilitator Avoids Using the Word “I”

As an effective facilitator, stop using the word “I”. For some, it is quite natural to substitute the plural “we” or “us”.  For others, it remains a significant challenge.  If you find it is a challenge, consider this opportunity as the number one change you can make to become a more effective facilitator. We have witnessed…

How to Facilitate Multiple Presenters

How to Facilitate a Conference with Multiple Presentations

During a recent four-day conference, we facilitated more than 20 speakers and multiple presentations with very distinctive topics ranging from embracing social responsibility to utilizing Google® Hangouts for small groups.  Our approach was highly applauded so we are sharing it with you, so that you can become a more effective facilitator. As the FAST technique instructs,…

Three Questions for Clarity and Precision

How to Be Precise with Three Transition Questions: Do NOT Ask “How Do You Solve Global Hunger?”

Transition questions are highly effective because you cannot develop a plan, any plan, such as a marketing plan, by asking “What is the marketing plan?”  The question is so broad as to be DUMB. We have learned during facilitated meetings and workshops, that it’s not easy for participants to respond to broad questions like “How…

Activities to Improve your Facilitator Skill Set

“If you’ve never been hit in the face, find out what it’s like”

Our alumni know that we compare the facilitator skills and attributes to those of a Navy SEAL.  We have stressed the importance of remaining invisible (ie, neutral), focused externally (ie, NOT on one’s self), and embracing a strong sense of service to help others, to make it easy.  This is the first time we have…

Nurture Ideas By Putting Them in the Refrigerator

Why Call Your Meeting Parking Lot a Meeting Refrigerator

One way to stir things up in meetings, with strong supporting rationale, would be to begin calling the Parking Lot a Meeting Refrigerator.  Here is why.  The term Parking Lot connotes a place of rest, where no progress is made, and stuff can actually begin to rust.  Items left in the Parking Lot can even…

Structured Meetings Lead to Higher Quality Outputs

Justify Structured Meetings Using Professional Facilitators

A highly productive meeting or workshop can generate positive impact within an organization and among its stakeholders–permeating their culture.  Here are a few straightforward facts, implications, and recommendations for the use of structured meetings, led by professional and trained facilitators. Background of Structured Meetings The dynamism of business wisdom demands the application of knowledge, stuff that is ‘in−formation’ (not…

Becoming a Humane Human

Become a Humane Human, Understand WHY Behind WHAT

Road Rage.  Have you been irritated by someone else’s driving?  Of course, we all have.  Today I realized however that I am likely guilty of doing the precise thing that others have done to piss me off.  However, when I did it, there was justification—of course.  When they did the same thing however, they were…

Power of the Single Cell

Power of a Single Cell to Make Your Deliverables More Robust

With structured analysis, each piece of data or single cell might be decomposed another layer. Amplify this approach even further by splitting your four cells into sixteen.  Therefore, see the picture below.  We can now ask, generate, and record sixteen pieces of information on a large Post-It® for each assignment.  Note how we take the four…

An Improved Simple Agenda

Use an Object to Describe Each Agenda Step – NOT a Verb

Do you want more meetings or for each meeting to have an additional agenda step?  Of course not.  Nobody wants more meetings and yet many of us find ourselves in meetings a few dozen hours per week (or more).  Why do we meet so frequently since seldom do we actually remove stuff from our “To-Do”…