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.

The Purpose Tool

The Purpose Tool: Building the Strategic Plan for a Function, Process, Activity or Product

Assuredly, organizational executives are known to go off-site to conduct strategic planning sessions, building consensus around vision and strategy to lead an organization to the future it seeks. Yet infrequently, if ever, the Account Payable Department (or, some other function, process, activity or product) justifies off-site strategic planning sessions. They still need consensus around why…

Creativity Tool Example

Use the Creativity Tool to Launch Ideation When Brainstorming

The following Creativity tool stimulates the ideation activity of Brainstorming and enables people to express ideas and beliefs non-verbally, even if they cannot or will not do it orally. This is especially beneficial for developing visions of the business, system, or organization.  It should also be used when defining, especially complex products or processes. Creativity…

Effective Icebreakers (aka Meeting Sparks)

A Few Dozen Highly Effective Icebreakers (aka, Meeting Sparks)

Use icebreakers to get participants vocal and more participatory sooner by introducing themselves beyond name and title. The following examples can be used by virtual participants as well. When virtual, make sure all participants identify themselves before speaking. Questions to Launch Effective Icebreakers (aka Meeting Sparks) A simple yet effective-method: “If I were a . . …

The Trivium

One Essence, Three Aspects: The Rule of Thirds in the World of Facilitation

The rule of thirds can help guide facilitator. The Project Management Institute (PMI) refers to planning, analysis, and design as separate stages across project development. At ground level, the basic Use Case refers to Input>Process>Output as the basis for understanding requirements. Many of the world’s great religions of philosophy embrace the concept of a trinity.…

Design Thinker

A Facilitator’s Profile is Much Like an Innovator’s Profile (Design Thinker)

“Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need weird shoes or a black turtleneck to be a design thinker . . .” so goes the article from Harvard Business Review June 2008 (pg 87). The author suggests five characteristics found in design thinkers (ie, innovators) that relate uncannily to core competencies required for effective facilitation.  Included…

Overconfidence

How Experience and Qualifications Amplify the Fallacy of Planning (i.e., “Overconfidence”)

Research by Ana Guinote and Mario Weick shows that people in positions of power are particularly ineffective planners. People who feel powerful focus on getting what they want and ignore the potential obstacles that stand in the way. Here is the fallacy of planning: the planning efforts of powerful people rely frequently on “best case…

Stimulate the Senses

The Positive Psychology of Chenille Stems: How to Make Everything Seem Easier

If you seek innovation and breakthrough during your group meetings or workshops, do not clone yourself. Constantly strive to blend and mix various ingredients and participants. Prepare to keep all of your participants stimulated. We call it the “Zen” of the experience—that is appealing to all the senses to stimulate and maintain vibrancy, including chenille…

14 Typologies to Avoid

14 Facilitator Typologies to Avoid (Humorous, Although Uncannily Real)

Here is a quick and somewhat humorous listing of fourteen different facilitator typologies or “personalities” you might seek to avoid. Our favorite is “The Pretender.” The “I Can’t Hear You” Guy— The facilitator who refuses to listen, probably because they are too busy analyzing, judging, and processing information. The Blabber— The facilitator who loves the…