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.…

3 Steps to Conflict Resolution

4 Steps to Conflict Resolution: Purpose, Active Listening, Alignment, and Escalation

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. There is no instructional class in the world that will teach you how to facilitate a resolution to all meeting conflict. Sometimes,…

Ground Rules Help Manage Meeting Behavior

Ground Rules and Ideation Rules for Optimal Group Behavior in Meetings

Use ground rules to help manage individual and group behavior during meetings and workshops. You can lead meetings and discussions without ground rules, but did you ever leave an unstructured meeting with a headache? The term “discussion” is rooted similarly to the terms “concussion” and “percussion.” A little bit of structure will ensure that you get more…

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 groups come to consensus on issues, 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…

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…

How to Facilitate Group or Team Decision Using Pros and Cons

How to Facilitate Decision-Making Using Pros and Cons

First, here is the traditional Pros and Cons method according to its creator, Benjamin Franklin: “For pros and cons, my way is to divide half a sheet of paper by a line into two columns; writing over the one pro, and over the other con; then during three or four days’ consideration, I put down under the…

Taking Charge

How Can Participants 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…