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.

Meeting Participation (Preparation)

Tips for Improved Participation in Meetings

Great meetings include certain, repeatable characteristics. A high level of participation in meetings frequently indicates the likelihood of a great meeting.  What encourages participation? Here are some meeting participation tips worth reviewing. We share select characteristics with you through the sequence they would occur in a well-conducted meeting; namely the beginning, the middle, and the…

Virtual Meetings

How to Facilitate Virtual Meetings and Participants

Core facilitation skills apply to both face-to-face and virtual meetings,  With teleconference or videopresence meetings, the session leader must speak clearly, provide active listening (especially feedback and confirmation), ask appropriate questions, manage time constraints and personality issues, etc.  Our discussion that follows below focuses on what is different with virtual meetings. Purpose of Virtual Participants…

Rhetorical Precision and Clear Communications

Rhetorical Precision and Clear Communications — Stress Substance Over Style

Rhetorical precision suggests that words reflect meaning, much like illustrations, symbols, and numbers. Challenging the fixed meaning of words, our languages reflect dynamic qualities and change constantly. For example, today there are more than one million words in the English language. Additionally, each word represents multiple meanings. Therefore, clear communications can be seen as an…

How to Actively Listen Relies on Reflection

The Four Steps to Active Listening – Strive to Reflect Rationale

Active listening captures one of the most important aspects of effective facilitation. As an active listener, you feedback (emphasize, restate) what the speaker has offered to the group, and more importantly, why. Be sure to reflect the rationale, the ‘because’ behind the speaker’s main point. Active listening serves several purposes: Often, the participant is formulating…

Meeting Problem Causes

How to Get Promising Meetings to Fail: Four Causes of Meeting Failure

Sometimes meetings that look promising before they begin, fail unexpectedly. Four primary causes of meeting failure deserve your attention. They sneak up on groups, ill-prepared to anticipate or mitigate them. Participants need your awareness about these meeting failures as their meeting leader and facilitator. First of Four Meeting Failure Causes: The Problem with Solving First,…

Balance

How to Converge Your Brainstorming Input— Key Measures

Brainstorming‘s third activity, frequently called ‘convergence’, may take the form of decision criteria. Criteria or key measures can take different forms, as shown below. Purpose of Key Measures Here we define how an organization will measure its progress as it reaches toward its future vision. Defined—key, measures, objectives, goals, and considerations: A key is something…