If so…you are not alone.
This blog post gives you tips to help you plan a very productive meeting.
I had the honor of presenting a workshop to members of MI Society of Association Executives (MSAE) on BEST PRACTICES AS A FACILITATOR.
Thanks to Nichole Tilma (Director of Professional Development & Special Events for MSAE) who invited me to lead the workshop and to Kathy Bart (Director of Sales at Director at DeVos Place) who did a great job as a co-leader.
We started out the program with an important distinction between the words facilitator and expert.
A facilitator is an individual whose job is to help manage a process of information exchange. A facilitator helps HOW the discussion is proceeding. Facilitators ask questions versus give answers. An expert’s role is to offer advice and give answers.
It is important to know the difference because great facilitators understand their role and don’t take over the discussion. They make sure the group moves forward.
I hope that you find the following best practices as a facilitator helpful:
Find out what the audience needs to know, wants to know and why are there
Set Ground Rules Such as:
- Turning off cell phones
- No side bars with people whispering to each other
- Checking egos at the door in order to have honest conversations
- Stopping negativity
Encourage Everyone to Share Ideas by Asking the Group to:
- Write down 3 ideas
- Share these ideas with a partner
- Discuss these ideas in small groups
- Bring these ideas back to the large group
Have Fun During the Meeting
Bring small toys for the group to play with during the meeting
- Koosh balls
- Stress toys
- Play dough
Take 30 Minute Stretch Breaks
- Have the audience stand and do easy exercises
- Share the best idea that they learned so far
Get The Group to Take Action by Using Debriefing Questions
- The most important concept that you learned today is…
- The first step that you will take is…
- The biggest barrier that you will have to overcome is…
- You will overcome the barrier by…
If you use these 5 best practices, your next facilitating meeting will be very successful.
Please send me your most challenging issue on how to facilitate your next meeting.
Also, send me your best practices and I will post them in a future blog…giving you credit!
Enjoy co-leader Katy Bart share what she learned from the session[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgX4CZnhd0w[/youtube]
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Feel free to share these tips with your team – Just be sure to give Joyce credit when you share or publish.
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Until next time
Remember, YOU Get What YOU Tolerate!
Joyce Weiss, M.A., CSP
Conflict Resolution Consultant & Accountability Coach