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 interactive listening remains sensitive to:
3. Instead use neutral encouragement:
- “No kidding?”
4. Interactive listening permits 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:
7. Therefore, don’t debate the issue:
8. Rather, restate and ask for confirmation:
- “Let’s ensure that we understand that correctly. You said that…”
9. Hence, silence or minimal speaking during interactive listening:
- Silence lasting three to five seconds will encourage the participant to say more.
- Defer to other participants
- Practice saying “Go ahead, continue.”
- Avoid interrupting:
- Therefore, 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:
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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