Increase Friendliness by Avoiding Podiums

Increase Your Leadership Likability By Strolling and Smiling More

Some of the best methodologists are also capable of facilitating complex topics requiring pre-thought and structure. Sometimes they fall flat on the personality factor, coming off as dispassionate, aloof, or insensitive. Most facilitators default in the other direction, they are typically warm and likable and good presenters but are frail when it comes to workshop…

Continuous Improvement Pays for Itself

Methodological Awareness About Deming’s 14 Points of Continuous Improvement

Every minute somewhere, someone refers to Deming’s term SMART (ie, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Based). Lesser known, however frequently copied, you will find his philosophy of continuous improvement. Therefore, true to his words, enjoy the phrasing of Deming’s 14 points of continuous improvement. You will discover an excellent discussion of them in Chapter 2 of Out…

Argumentation Relies on Facts, Presumptions, Assumptions, and Probabilities

Understand the Value of Argumentation for Organizational Decision-making

A strong facilitator should understand and appreciate the value of argumentation. She should understand the holarchial nature of business and people organized around a common cause. Critical thinking helps structure discussions so  groups can get more done, faster. In 1962, when Thomas Watson (CEO of IBM) was helping IBM reach their pinnacle, he said: “I…

Getting to Know One Another, Icebreakers for Large Groups

Two Quick and Effective Icebreakers for Large Groups

All groups, especially very large groups, perform better when the participants know something about each other. Even though time constraints prohibit traditional, self-spoken icebreakers for large groups (eg, 60 people for two minutes each burns two hours), some time for social bonding remains effective. Consider the following simple, easy, icebreakers for large groups, even hundreds of people,…

A Powerful Participants' Package

What to Include in a Workshop Participants’ Package for a Major Initiative

Besides understanding the difference between meeting roles and project or work roles, provide each participant with a participants’ package or pre-read handout. At launch or kickoff or any major inflection points, consider binding a participants’ package with spiral edging across the top of your inserts because it is unique and easier for left-handed note takers.…

Develop the Basis in Four Easy Steps

Develop the Basis for a Successful Meeting or Workshop in 4 Easy Steps

Purpose is to develop the basis for a successful meeting or workshop in four easy steps.  This preparation codifies the program purpose, project scope, session (ie, meeting or workshop) deliverables, and potential participants. Method Do the following: Write down your deliverable and strive to Get Examples! Deliverables illustrate the required documentation and needed information. What are we…

Appreciative Inquiry: Explore the Possibilities

Appreciative Inquiry — A Facilitative Path for the Future

Organizations seeking to change HOW they work may consider Appreciative Inquiry. The Appreciative Inquiry approach evaluates various viewpoints and to create an evolutionary path for the future. It leverages brainstorming, prioritizing, sub-teams, and various other tools we’ve discussed elsewhere, putting them in the context of: “ . . . study and exploration of what gives…

Cleanliness as a Value

Values Provide and Answer to Who are We ? — Benjamin Franklin Called Them Virtues

We always find it interesting that consulting firms promulgate their own, unique operational definitions. For instance, the term ‘values’ can be found called many things including “Guiding Principles”, “Tenets of Operation”, “Virtues”, “Essential Elements”, etc. Consequently, values provide answers to Who are We ? — Benjamin Franklin called them virtues. Generally, they all describe answers…

Political Risks in Meetings --- Interviewing Questions

Interviewing Questions to Ask to Understand Political Risks in Meetings

Interview participants to understand as much as possible about them, the people they work with, and their business. To understand the political risks in meetings, speak with your participants. Preferably, sit with them one-on-one for about 30 minutes. Speak with each face-to-face, or at least by way of a teleconference. Political Risks in Meetings — Interview…

Three Forms of Persuasion

What Aristotle Might Say to Facilitators Who Cannot Remove Bias

Argumentation can be described as the SMart approach to persuasion. It combines appeals to logic, or the Scientific Method, along with an appreciation of artistic attributes that that make the appeals more persuasive and convincing. Specifically Aristotle discusses three drivers of persuasive success: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. Good facilitators ought familiarize themselves with all three. Here’s…