Rhetorical Precision and Clear Communications

Rhetorical Precision and Clear Communications — Stress Substance Over Style

Rhetorical precision suggests that words reflect meaning, much like illustrations, symbols, and numbers. Challenging the fixed meaning of words, our languages reflect dynamic qualities and change constantly. For example, today there are more than one million words in the English language. Additionally, each word represents multiple meanings. Therefore, clear communications can be seen as an…

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Requirements Gathering

How to Facilitate Requirements Gathering (Primer)

When projects are accused of poor requirements gathering, the accusation is normally false.  The requirements gathered end up solid, but project gets exposed to additional costs because of the requirements that get lost. To facilitate any type of descriptive or prescriptive build-out of a process or series of activities, and to prevent omissions, use a structured approach…

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How to Actively Listen Relies on Reflection

The Four Steps to Active Listening – Strive to Reflect Rationale

Active listening captures one of the most important aspects of effective facilitation. As an active listener, you feedback (emphasize, restate) what the speaker has offered to the group, and more importantly, why. Be sure to reflect the rationale, the ‘because’ behind the speaker’s main point. Active listening serves several purposes: Often, the participant is formulating…

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Meeting Problem Causes

How to Get Promising Meetings to Fail: Four Causes of Meeting Failure

Sometimes meetings that look promising before they begin, fail unexpectedly. Four primary causes of meeting failure deserve your attention. They sneak up on groups, ill-prepared to anticipate or mitigate them. Participants need your awareness about these meeting failures as their meeting leader and facilitator. First of Four Meeting Failure Causes: The Problem with Solving First,…

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Increasing Meeting Contributions from Quiet People

Five Ways to Facilitate Quiet People to Get Them to Participate

Pardon the expression, but they say that a leopard cannot change his or her spots. You are not going to convert quiet people into aggressive extroverts who dominate a meeting. However, there are simple steps that you can take to increase the velocity of contributions from quiet people. Interview Your Participants, Especially Quiet People It is so important,…

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Balance

How to Converge Your Brainstorming Input— Key Measures

Brainstorming‘s third activity, frequently called ‘convergence’, may take the form of decision criteria. Criteria or key measures can take different forms, as shown below. Purpose of Key Measures Here we define how an organization will measure its progress as it reaches toward its future vision. Defined—key, measures, objectives, goals, and considerations: A key is something…

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How to Facilitate Ideation

Facilitate Innovation By Using the Brainstorming Tool as Intended

Product innovation provides a significant life force and has become a strategic priority for most companies and organizations. An IBM poll of fifteen hundred CEOs identified creativity as the number one “leadership competency” of the future. A new and remarkable discovery is that the ability to facilitate innovation and innovative ideas is not merely a function…

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Design Sprint Workshop

How to Facilitate Brainstorming: Primer and Overview of Three Activities

The term “brainstorming” is technically a gerund, a verb that wants to be a noun. A gerund implies more than one step or activity. Brainstorming has three activities. To facilitate brainstorming properly can be highly effective. When done poorly, it leaves a bad taste in peoples’ mouths. Optimally, brainstorming includes three discrete activities: List (also…

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Facilitate Meaning, Not Words

Facilitate Meaning, Not Words

One of the toughest tasks of a facilitator is to relinquish judgement and fully seek the intent behind the terms used in meetings. Therefore, facilitate meaning, not words. Structured workshops support the information revolution (as opposed to the 20th century industrial revolution). Therefore, remind participants that their words provide instruments supporting the meaning being conveyed. The term…

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