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. It’s not easy for participants to respond to broad questions like “How do you solve global hunger?”  While appropriate, the question’s…

Process Improvement Questions

Process Improvement Questions to Ask When Leading an Initiative

Organizational process improvement questions depends on perspective. Therefore, from an executive perspective, fewer participants and lower costs may indicate process improvement. However, from an employee or associate perspective, getting more done quickly and easily, without losing personnel, may indicate process improvement. Generally speaking, consensual answers to the following process improvement questions yield the type of…

Support for Arguments

How to Make Thinking Visible — Three Forms of Business Argumentation Support

One prevailing reason for how to categorize input relies on common purpose. Most enterprises organize around common purpose. For example, treasury operations organize around the purpose of financial capital; human resources organize around the purpose of human capital; and marketing organizes around the purpose of products and services. Force your participants to make thinking visible.…

Argumentation Relies on Facts, Presumptions, Assumptions, and Probabilities

Understand the Value of Argumentation for Organizational Decision-making

A strong facilitator should understand and appreciate the value of argumentation. She should understand the holarchial nature of business and people organized around a common cause. Critical thinking helps structure discussions so  groups can get more done, faster. In 1962, when Thomas Watson (CEO of IBM) was helping IBM reach their pinnacle, he said: “I…

Facilitating Different Priorities

Facilitating ‘Genetic’ Differences: Similar Values with Different Priorities

Most meeting participants embrace a set of similar values with different priorities.The difference lies in their relative strength, or ranking of the values. Participants’ rankings however are not static. Their ranking modulates based on their perspective at the moment. Hiring Characteristics as an Example When selecting, interviewing, and hiring associates, most human relations experts would…

Interactive Listening

10 Tips for Better Interactive Listening: It’s Not How You Act but How You React

For meeting participants to own the solution, they must also own the problem. Therefore, to be more effective as a facilitator, drop the first person singular terms “I” and “me”.  Additionally, stop offering solutions to ‘their’ problem, and quit judging and evaluating their contributions. Instead, challenge them to make their thinking clearer. 1. Hence, with…