Always remember, ask WHY before WHAT before HOW when you want to lead a group of people to shared understanding.
Success begins developing common ground as to WHY a group has come together to plan, analyze, or design. Use of our Purpose Tool quickly builds an integrated viewpoint that coalesces the intent and purpose behind anything—from a large organization to a small product or process. Appealing to WHY something exists leads to meaningful suggestions about WHAT do to support the purpose.
Create clear deliverables before your meeting, but start your meeting either building or confirming the purpose of the object of your deliverables. For example, if creating a simple decision about a gift for someone, determine the purpose of the gift first. Next prompt for gift ideas and decision criteria. Some in the group may be serious while others could treat the gift as a “gag” (ie, comedic relief). Best to reach understanding about the purpose of the gift before launching into gift ideas.
Support the Purpose
Contrasting the abstract with the concrete yields insight about the simple difference between WHAT and HOW. WHAT groups may need includes decisions, plans, and amplified understanding. Any discussion about deliverables such as decisions, plans, and prioritization should always appeal to WHAT is required to support WHY the common purpose exists and align with WHY it is important.
Likewise, detailed design and HOW things get done may also appeal to WHY it exists. In a safety-sensitive culture for example, risk of injury and potential damage to health, safety, or environment must be reconciled with WHY something exists. To prevent 100 percent risk abatement may be too expensive, so strive to reduce as much potential injury as common sense, timing, and budget allow.
Don’t ruin your career or reputation with bad meetings. Register for a class or forward this to someone who should. Taught by world-class instructors, MG RUSH professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practice. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools, methods, and approaches throughout the week. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.
Our courses also provide an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, and 40 CDUs from IIBA, as well as 3.2 CEUs for other professions. (See individual class descriptions for details.)
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