Naked Meetings II: Structuring Effective          Meetings in Contentious Settings                      Rick Lent         ...
INTEGRATED PLANNING            Advising nonprofits in:        www.synthesispartnership.com            • Strategy          ...
www.mission.doA Service   Of:                  Sponsored by:
Today’s Speaker                                       Rick Lent                                        Principal          ...
Naked Meetings II:               Structuring Effective Meetings in                     Contentious Settings               ...
Agenda        1. Help you see how unseen structures may affect           (+/-) meetings in contentious situations        2...
Your Challenges… 1. You face contentious meetings where …                  a)         One or two voices dominate          ...
Unseen structures …This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported Lic...
Unseen Structures of Meetings                                                                     • Physical, temporal,   ...
Unseen Structures of Meetings                                                                     Sara Beauvais The FairyC...
Structure affects power,      control and participation      in many ways and sets      the context for      respectful ex...
A Difficult Board Proposal                                                                     • Large church (1000       ...
Engaging 150+ Members in 60 Minutes • Meeting held   between services -   60 minutes   available. • Room set up in   small...
Engaging 150+ Members in 60 Minutes • Board presents purpose   of meeting: to gather   input on proposal. • Proposal prese...
Whole Group Meeting Resumes • President asks for (a sample of) group   responses to first question. • As comments shared, ...
Over the Next Week …                                                                     – Board summarizes               ...
Board Meets with Congregation Again           – Board summarizes what they heard in             response to all 3 question...
Underlying Structure of My Story                                                                     1. Clear, multi-step ...
Contentious                                                         Respectful Meetings           – To be respected, both ...
Tools Used in My Story           – Seating Structures to connect people in small             mixed groups           – PALP...
Seating Structures                               Changing Interaction by Changing Seating     Decide if you want individua...
PALPaR     Creating a Respective Exchange in Response to Some Proposal     Present: You present the proposal. Try not to t...
Three Reaction Questions                                          Gathering balanced feedback • Present proposal. Then ask...
Visible Note Taking             Recording the progress of the group’s discussion • Maintain an ongoing record of comments,...
Turning to Your Challenges… a) One or two voices dominate b) Group is divided on an issue and some arrive with    their mi...
Challenge: 1-2 Dominant Voices                                Plan to create opportunities for individual reflection      ...
Challenge: Arriving with Minds Made Up  Plan to engage everyone in respectful sharing and  listening to balanced feedback....
Challenge: Decisions Lack SupportThis work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3....
Challenge: Decisions Lack Support    What’s the underlying issue? Do people feel they are    responsible for this decision...
Challenge: Decisions Lack Support Five ways to reach a decision with a group: “5Cs” • Consensus: All support the decision....
Challenge: One Objection Stops ProgressKey is to respect individual. Avoid isolating andcausing him/her to go defensive.As...
Challenge: Passive/Aggressive “Participation”          What’s the underlying cause?           •          Is the work of th...
Challenge: Passive/Aggressive “Participation”          Tools:                  Five Cs of decision making                 ...
FATT            Defining a Clear Task: Focused, Actionable, Timely, Timed The more clearly the task description fulfills t...
ARE IN                                         Identifying Who Should Be Present Be clear about the work of the meeting an...
How Do I Know This Works? • The last 30 years have seen major advances in how we   conduct effective large group meetings ...
For More Information..Stories of challenging meetings and structural tools to help at       www.meetingforresults.com/blog...
Find listings for our current season          of webinars and register at:            NonprofitWebinars.comA Service   Of:...
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Naked Meetings II

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We all have to lead contentious meetings from time to time. Either the topic or participants pose a challenge to a thoughtful exchange of ideas. There seems to be little hope of arriving at decisions that all will support. The usual prescriptions for such meetings emphasize changing behavior or using some set of meeting rules. Both are difficult.</p><p>There is another approach, one that relies on choosing structures that will influence the conduct of the meeting. The structural choices a leader makes, even if unseen/unrecognized by participants, can greatly improve the civility and productivity of these meetings. In this webinar I will help you see some of these structures (the naked meeting) and introduce choices you can make in planning, conducting or achieving results given a (potentially) contentious meeting

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Naked Meetings II

  1. 1. Naked Meetings II: Structuring Effective Meetings in Contentious Settings Rick Lent July 11, 2012A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  2. 2. INTEGRATED PLANNING Advising nonprofits in: www.synthesispartnership.com • Strategy • Planning (617) 969-1881 • Organizational Development info@synthesispartnership.comA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  3. 3. www.mission.doA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  4. 4. Today’s Speaker Rick Lent Principal Meeting for Results Hosting:Assisting with chat questions:Jamie Maloney, Nonprofit Webinars Sam Frank, Synthesis PartnershipA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  5. 5. Naked Meetings II: Structuring Effective Meetings in Contentious Settings Rick Lent, Ph.D. http://www.MeetingforResults.comThis work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  6. 6. Agenda 1. Help you see how unseen structures may affect (+/-) meetings in contentious situations 2. Outline ways to structure better meetings in contentious settings 3. Give you selected tools for implementing structures to keep discussions respectful and productive And take your questions …This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 6
  7. 7. Your Challenges… 1. You face contentious meetings where … a) One or two voices dominate b) Group is divided on an issue and some arrive with their minds made up c) Decisions lack real support or get remade later even though there seems to be consensus d) One person’s objection stops progress e) Passive/aggressive “participation” as some show up late or fail to engage in the work of meeting 2. Were you part of the first Naked Meeting webinar on the underlying structure of meetings? a) Yes b) NoThis work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 7
  8. 8. Unseen structures …This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 8
  9. 9. Unseen Structures of Meetings • Physical, temporal, procedural aspects of meetings. • With an (unrecognized) impact on how we interact with each other and the work of the meeting.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 9
  10. 10. Unseen Structures of Meetings Sara Beauvais The FairyCircle.comThis work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 10
  11. 11. Structure affects power, control and participation in many ways and sets the context for respectful exchanges.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 11
  12. 12. A Difficult Board Proposal • Large church (1000 members) • Board intends to propose an organizational change and expects resistance • Risk of some particularly outspoken people.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 12
  13. 13. Engaging 150+ Members in 60 Minutes • Meeting held between services - 60 minutes available. • Room set up in small clusters of chairs. • Seating directions on door.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 13
  14. 14. Engaging 150+ Members in 60 Minutes • Board presents purpose of meeting: to gather input on proposal. • Proposal presentation (12 minutes) • Small groups answer 3 questions • Groups address all 3 questions and be ready to report back in 20 minutes.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 14
  15. 15. Whole Group Meeting Resumes • President asks for (a sample of) group responses to first question. • As comments shared, another board member writes key phrases on flip chart. • Same process for second and third question. • After all reports, President thanked everyone for their input and explained that the Board will review the feedback and present conclusions next week.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 15
  16. 16. Over the Next Week … – Board summarizes what they heard in response to all 3 questions – Board develops revised proposal – Meanwhile, Frank talks to ministerThis work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 16
  17. 17. Board Meets with Congregation Again – Board summarizes what they heard in response to all 3 questions – They explain how they have taken the feedback into account. – The revised proposal is presented. – Again people shared their reactions in small groups before whole group discussion.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 17
  18. 18. Underlying Structure of My Story 1. Clear, multi-step process. 2. Short initial presentation. 3. Everyone gets to speak in small, mixed groups. No one gets to “take over” meeting. 4. Three questions, one at a time, ensure balanced feedback heard by all. 5. No back-and-forth verbal “ping-pong”. 6. Board works with feedback before having to reply.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 18
  19. 19. Contentious Respectful Meetings – To be respected, both you and your ideas are heard and honored – To do this, use meeting structure to: • Connect as people first, ideas second • Enable all to speak and be heard • Avoid binary voting when possible • Avoid physical arrangements that create “sides” • Avoid need to defend positionsThis work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 19
  20. 20. Tools Used in My Story – Seating Structures to connect people in small mixed groups – PALPaR so everyone gets to speak, no sides dominate – Three Reaction Questions for balanced feedback – Visible Note Taking to demonstrate listening and focus/record feedbackThis work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 20
  21. 21. Seating Structures Changing Interaction by Changing Seating Decide if you want individuals to sit as they usually do. The best choice may be to mix participants so that the same people don’t sit with and talk to the same folks as usual. – Direct people to their “assigned” seats as they arrive. If nothing else, you can take a different chair yourself. If you always sit at the head of the table, move to the side. If it’s a large group, create small circles of chairs.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 21
  22. 22. PALPaR Creating a Respective Exchange in Response to Some Proposal Present: You present the proposal. Try not to take any questions at this time. Ask: Ask participants to talk with each other (in small groups) to clarify feedback by answering specific questions Listen: Take reports from each small group, one question at a time.. Pause: Take a specified break to incorporate what you have heard before continuing, and Reply: Come back to the group and summarize what you heard as key points in the feedback, and how you have taken feedback into account (or not).This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 22
  23. 23. Three Reaction Questions Gathering balanced feedback • Present proposal. Then ask participants to reflect on their own or in small groups to answer these questions: 1. What do you like about [the proposal]? 2. Where do you need further information? 3. Where do you have concerns? • After a few minutes, take reports, one question at a time beginning with the first. Get all replies to first question before proceeding to the second.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 23
  24. 24. Visible Note Taking Recording the progress of the group’s discussion • Maintain an ongoing record of comments, using each speaker’s words as much as possible. • Record the comments where all can see it. • Use the speaker’s words. But, this is not a transcript. Some abbreviation of comments is fine as long as you capture the essence of what the speaker said.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 24
  25. 25. Turning to Your Challenges… a) One or two voices dominate b) Group is divided on an issue and some arrive with their minds made up c) Decisions lack real support or get remade later even though there seems to be consensus d) One person’s objection stops progress e) Passive/aggressive “participation” as some show up late or fail to engage in the work of meetingThis work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 25
  26. 26. Challenge: 1-2 Dominant Voices Plan to create opportunities for individual reflection and small group sharing before whole group discussion. Tool: “1-2-All” 1: Individual Reflection. Give individuals a chance to gather their own thoughts. 2: Small Group Discussion. Ask participants to turn to their neighbors to share their ideas. All: Whole Group Discussion. Ask each group for a brief report (typically 1-3 minutes) summarizing their discussion.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 26
  27. 27. Challenge: Arriving with Minds Made Up Plan to engage everyone in respectful sharing and listening to balanced feedback.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 27
  28. 28. Challenge: Decisions Lack SupportThis work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 28
  29. 29. Challenge: Decisions Lack Support What’s the underlying issue? Do people feel they are responsible for this decision at this time? The “potholes”… Failure to decide how to decide. Failure to communicate the choice. Failure to act consistently with the choice.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 29
  30. 30. Challenge: Decisions Lack Support Five ways to reach a decision with a group: “5Cs” • Consensus: All support the decision. If one person has an objection, then you don’t have consensus. • Consent: Each person says that s/he can support the decision even if not “perfect.” • Compromise: Everyone gives up something to achieve a unified common outcome. • Count: This is majority rule or voting. One side wins. • Consult: You want the group’s input on some decision you will make.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 30
  31. 31. Challenge: One Objection Stops ProgressKey is to respect individual. Avoid isolating andcausing him/her to go defensive.Ask: “Who else feels this way?”• Form sub-group to explore their view (not debate or argue against other view)• Remainder of group listens• Form second (and third) subgroup to discuss other view(s)• Then ask whole group: “What are we learning about similarities and differences in views?” See tool “Practical Subgrouping” (or Weisbord and Janoff: Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There. (2007)This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 31
  32. 32. Challenge: Passive/Aggressive “Participation” What’s the underlying cause? • Is the work of this meeting clear and relevant to all? • Are the right people present to do the work? • Is there enough time for the discussion and do all understand how a decision will be reached?This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 32
  33. 33. Challenge: Passive/Aggressive “Participation” Tools: Five Cs of decision making FATT for a clear task ARE IN for getting the right people in the discussionThis work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 33
  34. 34. FATT Defining a Clear Task: Focused, Actionable, Timely, Timed The more clearly the task description fulfills the FATT criteria, the more likely it is that the group will engage each other effectively in the work of the meeting. • Focused: The subject for discussion is a clear and bounded task so everyone understands exactly what is under consideration. • Actionable: The decision to be reached can be acted on by those present. This group has the relevant authority. • Timely: This is the right time to address this topic. • Timed: The assigned time is adequate to the task.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 34
  35. 35. ARE IN Identifying Who Should Be Present Be clear about the work of the meeting and what a successful result will entail. Then plan how to include those who represent one or more of the following: • Authority to act on meeting conclusions. • Resources to apply in implementing meeting conclusions. • Expertise on critical aspects of the discussion or decision. • Information on some aspect of the discussion. • Need for an effective outcome or conclusion of this meeting. The ARE IN acronym, was first proposed by Weisbord and Janoff (2010).This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 35
  36. 36. How Do I Know This Works? • The last 30 years have seen major advances in how we conduct effective large group meetings of 50, 100, 500 or more participants. • In such large meetings, it is very difficult to direct the behavior or participation of individuals. Instead, a facilitator uses structure to enable all to participate effectively and efficiently. • My goal is to adapt and communicate the structural approaches of these large group meetings so leaders everywhere can make own meetings more engaging and effective.This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 36
  37. 37. For More Information..Stories of challenging meetings and structural tools to help at www.meetingforresults.com/blogComplimentary consultation on a meeting challenge (by email or phone appointment) rick@meetingforresults.com 1-978-580-4262E-book on 31 structural tools for better meetings: Meeting for Results Tool Kit: Make Your Meetings Work. Available late summer. Sign up to be notified when available: www.meetingforresults.comThis work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. 37
  38. 38. Find listings for our current season of webinars and register at: NonprofitWebinars.comA Service Of: Sponsored by:
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