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The following are characteristics of group effectiveness that will also satisfy individual needs.

Continue to test them against your own experience and let us know when you identify some other type of synergy that describes an effective group with whom you are working. The following is listed in alpha-sort and not order of importance or chronology.

  1. Avoid personal attacks by keeping critiques and challenges at a professional level.
  2. Conflict is healthy and the reasons for differing views are made evident.
  3. Characterize discussions by the following attributes:
    Effective Groups Attain Organizational Goals and Satisfy Individual Needs

    Teamwork and Group Effectiveness

    • Completeness

    • Preciseness

    • Relevance

    • Timeliness

    • Verifiability

  4. Discussions are vibrant, everyone participates according to their natural inclination and style, and group stays focused on the scope at hand.
  5. Displays cohesiveness shown by activity and cooperative interaction among participants.
  6. Facilitator establishes balance between inquiry and advocacy.
  7. Group is sufficiently skilled to plan, analyze, and design around the problem or opportunity.
  8. Look backs, after action reviews, or other reviews of group performance generate healthy learnings that improve future performance.
  9. Meeting participants are willing and able to listen, challenge, and learn.
  10. Participants comfortably express a minority view as well as confidence or doubts about future outcomes.
  11. Participants understand and value meeting deliverables and project objectives.
  12. Roles, responsibilities, and next steps are clear and acceptable to all participants.
  13. Sense of urgency compels timeliness and meeting deadlines.
  14. The facilitator maintains vigilant neutrality and avoids their personal thoughts about content, remaining focused on context and group support.
  15. The facilitator or session leader deploys various and appropriate tools that lead to consensual understanding and acceptance.
  16. There is a small delta or variance between what is said in private and how it is expressed in public, outside the meeting or workshop.
  17. Typically ranges from five to nine people, large enough to accomplish but not too large to be disgraceful.


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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Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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