For meeting participants to own the solution, they must also own the problem. Therefore, to be more effective as a facilitator, drop the first person singular terms “I” and “me”. Additionally, stop offering solutions to ‘their’ problem, and quit judging and evaluating their contributions. Instead, challenge them to make their thinking clearer.
- “Tell us more about . . .”
- “Give us a better description about . . .”
2. Body language should therefore be sensitive to:
- Direct eye contact
- Involved posture:
- lean forward
- don’t fold arms
- avoid cold shoulder
- Use pleasant, encouraging facial expression.
- Use skeptical expressions only to gain clarification, but beware: they can impede information flow.
3. Instead use neutral encouragement:
- “No kidding?”
4. Additionally challenge with add-on comments, comparisons, analogies:
- “What makes that different than the (XYZ deal)?”
- “Sounds like trying to hold off the flood by putting your finger in the dike . . .”
5. Stress clarification questions:
- “Explain more about . . .”
- “Restate that as if you were speaking to your grandmother.”
- “Do you mean (insert reflective comment)?”
- “What is different between (this) and (that)?”
- “What type of impact . . .?”
6. Conclude comments and conversation with a summary:
- At the end of the conversation, summarize the important points and ask for confirmation that you understood the other party, not that you necessarily agreed with everything said.
- “We apparently have agreed on the following course of action . . .”
- “Your position on the matter was . . .”
7. Therefore, don’t debate the issue:
- Listen intently while the other person talks. Focus on understanding the other person’s point of view so that you can provide thorough reflection.
8. Rather, restate and ask for confirmation:
- “Let’s ensure that we understand that correctly. You said that…”
9. Hence, silence or minimal speaking:
- Silence lasting three to five seconds will encourage the other person to say more.
- Defer to other participants
- Practice saying “Go ahead, continue.”
- Avoid interrupting:
- Interrupt only to ask clarification questions or to increase momentum through a quick comment. Don’t change the subject without announcing your intention to do so.
10. Most importantly, take notes:
- Note taking usually honors the speaker and encourages information flow.
- Take notes, not dictation; stay in the conversation; maintain eye contact.
- Note taking may impede information flow however, and some speakers may not want a written record of their comments on sensitive issues.
Take a class or forward this to someone who should. MG RUSH professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practicing methodology. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools before class concludes. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.
Therefore Become Part of the Solution While You Improve Your Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology Skills
MG RUSH Professional Facilitation curriculum provides an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, 40 CDUs from IIBA, and 3.2 CEUs. As a member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF), our Professional Facilitation, our training fully aligns with IAF Certification and International Institute for Facilitation (INIFAC) principles. Consequently, our professional curriculum fully prepares alumni for their Certified Professional Facilitator designation.
Furthermore, all of our classes immerse students in the responsibilities and dynamics of effective facilitation and methodology. Nobody is smarter than everybody so attend an MG RUSH Professional Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology workshop offered around the world. For additional details, see MG RUSH for a current schedule.
Go to the Facilitation Training Store to access proven in-house resources. Because there you will discover fully annotated agendas, break timers, and templates. Finally, take a few seconds to buy us a cup of coffee and please SHARE with others.
In conclusion, we dare you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.