Facilitation Do’s and Don’ts

12 Critical Facilitation Do’s and Don’ts During Meetings, Sessions, and Workshops

Our students have clamored for a quick-reference checklist of the most important facilitation Do’s and Don’ts. In response, we bring you the brief, yet powerful, list below (alpha-sorted by the highlighted term or phrase). Please note that the highlighted facilitation do’s and don’ts are linked to articles that provide additional examples, evidence, and supporting rationale.…

scope creep

Scope Creep Kills Projects – It Begins in Poorly Facilitated Meetings

Have you ever heard someone say in a meeting “I don’t know why we’re doing this project in the first place?” Odds are, the meeting is being held to advance the project, not re-validate it. The person asking the question has now imposed their agenda on the group. They have forced scope creep [1]. Whenever…

Problem Meetings

17 Challenging Personality Types and How To Manage Them to Avoid Problem Meetings

Always empower your participants, but learn to control challenging personality types to avoid problem meetings. First of all, the deliverable or decision is theirs, not yours. Therefore, manage politics by removing ideas from the individual participant and turning it over to the entire group. Because it’s not WHO is right, rather WHAT is right that…

3 Steps to Conflict Resolution

3 Steps to Conflict Resolution: Purpose, Active Listening, and Objectives

Resolve conflict within a meeting or workshop by understanding, clarifying, and confirming the purpose of the decision being discussed. Effective conflict resolution depends on shared purpose. Competing purposes will lead to competing solutions. When an appeal to common purpose fails, combine active listening with extensive challenges to guide the discussion. Lastly, appeal to the objectives supported by…

Addicted To Being Right Requires Balance

Addicted to Being Right: 4 Participant Responses to Avoid Being Wrong

Most people associate shame or loss of power with being wrong. Ever feel yourself getting defensive?When your meeting participants turn defensive, especially when they feel they are losing ground, neurochemistry hijacks the brain. Because they are addicted to being right, the amygdala, our instinctive brain, takes over.  With a focus on being right, participants are…

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…

Five Meeting Problems and What You Should Do About Them

Five Common Meeting Problems and What You Should Do About Them

Ever develop that sense of deja vu about not getting anywhere during a meeting?  Meeting problems are indicative of resistance that is generated during a meeting.  Resistance can be prevented and mitigated with professional behavior.  Here’s what to do about five common meeting problems. 1.  Meeting Problems — Lack of clear purpose All too frequently, meetings are…

Not Meeting Conflict but Voting leads to lower quality decisions

How You Can Convert Meeting Conflict into More Robust Decision-making

There is no instructional class in the world that will teach you how to facilitate a resolution to all meeting conflict.  Sometimes, people or parties refuse to agree simply because they do not like each other.  Fortunately you can rely on a three-step method that helps manage meeting conflict and secure consensus that is repeatable…

Structured Facilitation Begins with Your Holarchy

Holarchy: The Discipline of Structured Facilitation Contrasted to Kum-Bah-Yah

The discipline of structured facilitation differs from what we respectfully refer to as “Kum Bah Yah” or “warm and fuzzy” facilitation that frequently begins by co-creating ground rules.  Most corporate environments simply do not afford enough time to follow the slow but sure path of building trust and camaraderie among participants. The holarchy provides a good reason…