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…

Stop Saying I

The Most Effective Facilitators Stop Saying I — Use Pluralistic Rhetoric

As an effective facilitator, stop saying 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. Stop saying I. We have witnessed…

Building Consensus - Modern Facilitative Leadership

Thoughts, Words, and Deeds – Foundation for Building Consensus

Even a lousy facilitator will succeed at building consensus when they draw line of sight from the meeting deliverable to the quality of life of the meeting participants.  When meeting output has a major impact on participants, they will help the person in the facilitator’s role be more effective. CLEAR THINKING (thoughts) Highly effective facilitators…

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 . . …

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…

SCAMPER is a Mnemonic Prompt

SCAMPER is a Mnemonic Prompt for Excellent, Impromptu Questions

SCAMPER provides a ‘hip-pocket’ tool; ie, an unplanned method of developing appropriate questions on an impromptu basis. With SCAMPER, you may also take raw input (ie, first-cut ideation lists) and challenge participants to calibrate their raw input into something closer to the form of the answer being sought. Use the questions prompted by SCAMPER to…

Taking Charge

How Can a Participant Lead Meetings and Subtly Take Charge

We are not suggesting that you, as a participant lead meetings — or take over lame meetings, but there are some actions you can take to improve your meetings without stepping on the toes of your meeting leader. Situation: Participant Lead Meeting The situation is this: You are attending a meeting. It is failing because the leader has neglected some…