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A guide to energy and engagement in meetings


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Five steps to create energy and engagement in meetings through making a great plan, making people feel welcome, creating energy from the beginning, designing for the right conversations, and ending on a high note.

Published in: Business

A guide to energy and engagement in meetings

  1. 1. A guide to energy and engagement in meetings 2017
  2. 2. 2 Five steps to create energy and engagement in meetings Step 4: Design for the right conversations Pages 10-17 Step 3: Create energy from the beginning Pages 7-9 Step 2: Make people feel welcome Pages 5-6 Step 5: End on a high note Pages 18-21 Step 1: Make a great plan Pages 3-4
  3. 3. Make a great plan STEP 1 Design workshops with ownership and impact
  4. 4. 4 Step 1 Use the design star to create the plan FORM How? Drawing on optimal process methods. PARTICIPANTS Who? Bringing the participants into play most optimally in relation to their preferences, relations, context and learning styles. ENVIRONMENT Where and which atmosphere? Creating the right physical and mental environment for the session. 3 ROLES Who has which roles? Designing the process with focus on the most important stakeholders’ role in the process and the actual session. 5 2 PURPOSE Why and what is delivered? 1 4
  5. 5. Make people feel welcome Ensure that the atmosphere and the surroundings are in line with your learning purpose STEP 2
  6. 6. 6 Step 2 How to make people feel welcome Indicators of high competence  Welcome flip on the door.  Decorate the room with flips and posters.  Prepare table and chairs to fit the purpose and the number of participants.  Prepare a “resource table”.  Bring materials, relevant books and articles.  Greet participants with a smile when they arrive. Make the room “alive”  Make name tags on the tables.  Decorate the room with flips and posters.  Make the participants decorate their signs with skill symbols.  Make them write down the most important questions to the themes on the back of their signs. Make sure that the physical needs are covered  Always water and coffee in the room.  Fruit and other snacks during breaks.  Check the room temperature with the participants.  Let in fresh air during breaks. Use music  Music can create an atmosphere of, for example, energy or reflection.  Use music during breaks and to control time (turn up the music when a group task is done).
  7. 7. STEP 3 Create energy from the beginning Use an icebreaker to get started and ease up the atmosphere
  8. 8. 8 Step 3 Ideas for introductions and icebreakers Introduction with fun fact Participants on the floor. Meet three people during seven minutes and talk about the following:  Ultra-short presentation  Bonus information/fun fact about yourself During the first round, the one with the longest hair starts. During the second round, the one with the smallest shoe size starts. During the third round, the one who are oldest starts. The facilitator makes a sound when it is time to find the next partner. Morning bingo Participants on the floor with a bingo card each. The numbers on the bingo card are replaced with statements about the employees in the organisation.  Find a colleague you think fits the description. If you are right, write the name of the colleague in the box.  Move on to the next colleague. Proceed until you have a full bingo card – and then shout out: “BINGO”!  The winner goes to the stage, reads out the correct answers and receives a price.
  9. 9. 9 Step 3 Base your design on brain-friendly learning principles S E G A Attention has limits of only 20 minutes before needing a refresher. To optimally activate hippocampus, the learner must pay full attention. Making learning more social is a key to improving learning effectiveness. Generation is the act of creating your own connections to new ideas. Less teaching and more self-directed learning. Insight generation is the single most important activity in learning. Emotion directs attention and matters for making learning last. Positivity is better than negativity in a learning experience. Spacing leads to higher retrieval rates of new information. Any spacing (minutes, hours, days) is better than no spacing at all. For spacing between sessions, the ideal gap is one that includes sleep.
  10. 10. STEP 4 Create a process where you unfold a subject and then narrow it down to specific solutions Design for the right conversations
  11. 11. 11 Standing dialogue Step 4 Different types of conversations and involvement  Some people talk as they think while others prefer to think before they talk.  In order to involve everybody, you can give the participants time for a few minutes of individual reflection after asking your question. Individual reflection Round the table (3-12) Walk and talk Conversation with neighbour or in a small group (3-6)  Take a turn round the table where all participants express their opinion on a topic or a question is useful if you want everybody’s opinion.  This is useful to get everybody to hear the opinion of all participants. It can follow an individual reflection.  Be aware that the turn round the table does not take too long.  Walk and talk gives new energy to the process by sending the participants on a walk in small groups of 2- 3 people with a question to discuss.  You can ask them to bring a pen and some paper to note their key points.  Standing dialogue is especially useful if you want to create variation and pace in the workshop or meeting.  One option is to place flips on the walls in the room, ask participants to work on these templates and rotate.  Another option is to do a brainstorm on the wall with Post-its so everybody can get a visual overview.  Conversations with the neighbour can create a safe environment, an option to test answers to complex questions and more opinions to a question.  If you experience that no one in a group answers your question, it might be that they do not feel safe in the group. This can take the energy out of the process and affect the quality of the result.
  12. 12. 12 Step 4 Inspiration for facilitation and process methods Purpose  An effective way to get an answer to a question in a large group and get an overview of the different positions on that question in the room. Preparation/materials  Rope or tape to mark the horseshoe on the floor or use the conference table and define the scale from one chair at your right side all the way around to the chair at your left side. Think creatively and use what is in the room. Exercise 1. Ask the question that the group should deal with. Be sure that it is understood in the same way by everyone and that everyone is able to respond. Define the ends of the horseshoe so the group is in no doubt about the scale (use a rope on the floor to show the line). 2. Think and go! Give them 5-10 seconds to think about their positioning and let them go directly to the place on the scale that represents their answer. No one is in the wrong place. 3. Let people talk in pairs about their choice of place. 4. Ask why people placed themselves where they are. Ask what should happen to move them to somewhere else (for example, to the desired position, if such exists). 5. Be aware that not everyone feels comfortable with placing themselves in “vulnerable positions”. Sometimes it seems to be adjusted in relation to the formal or informal leader’s location. The best advice is to first create the right learning environment without risk. 5-100 The horseshoe Variations  When you and the group have understood the different positions, you can – as a facilitator – move people around. Take, for example, one person up to the positive/happy end of the scale. Then ask that person/group to describe what it takes to get there all together. Why the shape of a horseshoe?  Most of the time a group is asked to position themselves in relation to a question, it is in a straight line. The advantage of the horseshoe is that everyone immediately has an overview of the entire group’s answers. In addition eye contact is possible, which makes facilitation much easier. 30 minutes
  13. 13. 13 Step 4 Inspiration for facilitation and process methods Purpose  To create a common understanding of the positions among the participants and create room for both the concerns and expectations of a change process.  Often employees will focus on the pros now and the cons in the future situation, whereas the leader will focus on the cons now and the pros in the future. Exercise  Prepare a flip with the visualisation of the double-entry bookkeeping. The task is to consider both the pros and cons of the current situation (now) and the new situation (future). 1. Work with the template individually or in small groups (3-5 people). 2. Go through the template with the entire group to collect all the perspectives.  The price of the change can be defined as the pros now plus the cons in the future.  The leader can use knowledge from this exercise to target the communication regarding the change process. Double-entry bookkeeping 4 30 minutes
  14. 14. 14 Step 4 Inspiration for facilitation and process methods Purpose  To clarify concerns and expectations regarding a subject with focus on both positive and negative elements. Can help participants to change their perspective as they talk from a different perspective about a change than they normally see it from. Preparation/materials  Draw the exercise on a flip. Exercise  3-4 participants interview each other with a specific focus on the positive or negative side of the subject. After each round, feedback is given, and the roles and focus are turning.  Make a series of questions or ask the participants to create them in small groups.  Place participants in groups of 3-4 people around their own table and assign the three roles. One is the interviewer, one is the respondent and 1-2 are observers.  The task of the interviewer is to ask questions, follow up on these (can you elaborate on …, do you have a concrete example ..., what is the most important ...).  The respondent answers the questions as well as possible.  The observers listen without speaking.  After 3-5 minutes the interview is over and the observers can now share their reflections for another 5 minutes according to the feedback model (observation, perception, proposal). Now the interviewer and the respondent are not speaking.  After the first round “the table is turning”. This means that the participants are rotating clockwise and getting the role of the person who was just sitting here. The first respondent has to be very positive and find every good perspective, the next has to be very negative and pinpoint all the problems, the third is again positive and the fourth is negative.  The rotation continues until all participants have had the three roles. Grou ps of 3-4 Turning table 40 minutes
  15. 15. 15 Purpose  To create and select ideas. Preparation/materials  Post-its and “like” stickers. Exercise  Sets the frame in plenum.  Brainstorming in groups:  Individual idea generation on Post-its (5 minutes).  Sharing the ideas round the table (5 minutes).  Individual idea generation on Post-its based on inputs (5 minutes).  Sharing and selection in group (3 key principles + 1 outsider) (15 minutes).  Standing presentation and grouping of principles on wall (15 minutes).  Voting/“likes”  selection (10 minutes).  Wrap-up and further process on the guiding principles (5 minutes). Step 4 Inspiration for facilitation and process methods 60 minutes Brain-friendly or reverse brainstorming Purpose  To turn the problem upside down. To put every possible resistance on an issue/change out in the open and use this as the starting point for a solution. Preparation/materials  Post-its and “like” stickers. Exercise  Empty your brain for every idea that would really make the project/idea impossible/crash and burn. (For example, “how do we make sure that your team fails completely in realising xx?”) Write them down one by one with capital letters on paper cards and put them on a wall. Present them to the other groups. 1. Sort the ideas. The worst in a pile of their own. (Tip: Pick 4 + 1: the 4 worst and 1 outsider that no one else will think of.) 2. Present them to the other groups and put them on a wall. 3. Turn them around to something useful. In pairs you take each idea and write down its “constructive opposite” on a cardboard and place both cards on the wall. 1 0
  16. 16. 16 Step 4 Inspiration for facilitation and process methods Purpose  To sort a lot of ideas and rate them according to two criteria. Preparation/materials  Flip with the illustration and criteria. Exercise  Place the ideas according to the two axes, for instance:  “Easy to implement the task”  “Great effect for the target group” Or  Importance to customers  Satisfaction Some ideas can be qualified and developed, and thus they can move up to the right upper corner.  Remember to agree on what you mean by the criteria. For example, what is great effect for the target group? It pays off to be very specific when defining the criteria so they are not up for discussion. Sorting method: the square Criterion:Easyto implementthetask Criterion: Great effect for the target group High Lo w Lo w High 5 60 minutes
  17. 17. 17 Step 4 Remember specific instructions 1. Specific instructions In order to avoid misunderstanding and confusion among the participants, it is important to make precise exercise instructions. A precise instruction increases the motivation for doing an exercise and ensures accuracy and learning. A void phrases such as “So, if you could just ...” It makes the exercise to something that must be overcome and puts you, as the facilitator, in a weak position. Use instead: “What we are going to do now is ...” 3. Avoid As a basic rule, the exercise instructions must always answer these questions:  What, why, who, how, for how long and where Always write your instructions on a flip chart or PowerPoint to avoid confusion or uncertainty about the exercise. As the very first thing, always tell the participants “what” and “why”. It is important that you clearly communicate the purpose of the exercise. Keep track of time. Let the participants know when there is 1 or 2 minutes left. 2. Basic rules
  18. 18. STEP 5 Create a positive ending on your meeting and with a clear picture of what happens next End on a high note
  19. 19. 19 Step 5 End on a high note Half sentences Purpose  To wrap up the day and revisit key models/themes to enhance learning. Preparation/materials  Write half sentences on cardboards – one for each participant. The same half sentence can be on several cardboards. Exercise  In groups of approximately 20 people.  The participants stand in a common circle, draw a cardboard for the facilitator, read the half sentence and finish it. The order can either be voluntary or clockwise. The facilitator can pose an example to set the level of time and content. Inspirational questions  My most important takeaway is …  Tomorrow I will start to ...  Now I am much more clear on ...  When I meet my personal leader, I will tell him/her ... Variation Stand in a circle and step forward one at a time, stating the key takeaways from the meeting. Grou ps of 5-20 My most important takeaway is … Tomorrow I will start to ... Now I am much more clear on ... When I meet my personal leader, I will tell him/her ... 15 minutes
  20. 20. 20 Step 5 End on a high note Purpose  To make a fun quiz about the content to wrap up the programme in a fun and engaging way. Preparation/materials  Set up an account.  Create a learning game made from a series of multiple-choice questions. Add videos, images and diagrams to the questions.  Requires no setup and no player accounts, but requires devices with Internet access. Exercise  A digital question-based game (quiz, discussion or survey) that is best played in classroom-like settings or a big-scale conference.  Players answer on their own devices (smartphone or iPad), while games are displayed on a shared screen to unite the lesson. Learn more on www.kahoot.itttps:www.// Kahoot! – online quiz 1 0 15 minutes
  21. 21. 21 Step 5 End on a high note Purpose  To revisit the content of the day and remember what has been going on. Preparation/materials  Have knowledge of iMovie or other video edit programme.  Ensure that there is a person to film.  Inform people that you are filming and how it will be used.  Remember to film small clips from the entire day (2-4 seconds).  Hold the phone vertical for the best picture on screen.  Clip the movie together at the end of the day, add music and show it as the last thing. .// Movie of the workshop 1 0 15 minutes
  22. 22. Want to know more? Henrik Horn Andersen +45 2338 0046 Iben Nelson +45 2338 0078