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 being supported…

Ground Rules Help Manage Meeting Behavior

Ground Rules for Optimal Group Behavior in Meetings and Workshops

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 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…

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…

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 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 The situation is this: You are attending a meeting. It is failing because the leader has neglected some or many…