Ice Breaker Tip

Ice Breaker TIP — Newspaper or Magazine Headlines about Accomplishments

This is one ice breaker TIP from our collection of practical tips, tools, and techniques. Our tips are gathered from our experience, training classes, and alumni contributions. Ice Breaker Tip One: Warming Up A Group This ice breaker tip is useful for people that are unfamiliar with each other, or for familiar groups that need…

Active Listening Tip

An Active Listening TIP — Listening For the WHY, Benefits Everyone

We all know that listening is an important skill. We instruct our students to engage in “active” listening. Embrace the following active listening tip to elevate your facilitation skills beyond most meeting leaders. Most listening is the act of being attentive to What the speaker says. therefore, our active listening tip instructs you to listen for Why…

Change Management

Seven Top Skills for Managing Change in an Enterprise or Organization

To improve or enhance your personal capacities and to help you understand what skills to seek in others that support effective change, we have isolated seven top skills for managing change. These skills are those most frequently identified by employers according to Syracuse University public-affairs professor Bill Coplin, author of “10 Things Employers Want You…

The Big Question

Avoid Asking “How Do We Solve Global Hunger?” with the Single Question Approach

Meeting participants are all too frequently confronted with questions that are too difficult to answer. When the facilitator receives a blank stare or extended silence after asking a question, there is a strong likelihood that the question is much to broad or vague, and thus difficult (rather than easy, as in facilitaere) to answer. Strive…

Workshop Best Practices

Benefits Accrue Using Structured Workshop Best Practices

Structured workshops conducted with workshop best practices are increasingly popular among lean sigma and requirements gathering projects that frequently support business process improvement and product development.   Why?  When properly conducted, workshops conducted with workshop best practices are simply faster and more effective than typical business meeting discussions.  Remember that the terms discussion, percussion, and concussion…

Facilitating Kum-Bay-Yah Decision-Making Matrix to Guide Selection of Structured Facilitation Tools

Guidelines for Selecting Appropriate Structured Facilitation Tools

Facilitators rely on hundreds of tools to gather information, support decision-making, encourage innovation, build camaraderie, strive for higher quality, or guide a facilitator through an unplanned pathway.  Therefore, your selection of the “best” structured facilitation tools depends on many of the factors discussed below. Overview of Helpful Structured Facilitation Tools A note of caution—beginning facilitators often…

Scenario Planning Support

National Intelligence Council Support for Facilitating Scenario Planning

The FAST Professional Advanced Facilitative Leadership training covers a methodology and explains the need for facilitating scenario planning.  If you find yourself in that role, consider purchasing the USD$2 Kindle version of “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” to support your methodology and preparation. Robert Moran’s excellent summary can be found in “The Futurist” March-April 2013…

Biases Impact Decision Quality

Why We Need Trained, Professional Facilitators Who Can Guard Against Bias

Individuals and groups can frankly be wrong, when they think they are right.  Professional facilitators get groups to focus on the conflict of the issues and ideas rather than the conflict between the people advocating those ideas.  At the same time, they need to guard against bias. The chance of error when making complex decisions…

BPI Phase One Check-Off

Phase One Results from a Facilitated Business Process Improvement Project

The following is extracted from (slightly modified for you, the blog reader) the book, “Change or Die: The Business Process Improvement Manual,” published by CRC Press, the Taylor and Francis Group.  It summarizes the developments that occur during the first phase of a Business Process Improvement project (BPI) that is built upon multiple, facilitated workshops. …

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…