Meeting facilitating techniques (crash course)


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Key take aways from a training session I've participated in.

PLEASE NOTE, the first upload had only 8 slides - I've now uploaded 19 slides more. Enjoy!

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Meeting facilitating techniques (crash course)

  1. 1. A facilitator is not a team leaderA team leader usually… A facilitator usually…• Sets agenda • Ensures an agenda is set.• Plans the meeting • Discusses plan and advise team leader/manager on how the meeting should be run to improve effectiveness.• Contributes directly to achieve • Ensures that the team makes the task a plan of the activities needed to be undertaken and that roles are allocated.• Supports individuals • Observes team behaviour and feedback to the team leader. Provides in session management of dysfunctional behaviour.• Participates in review of • Manages review of the meeting / process meeting / process
  2. 2. A set of “consulting” roles- what is your preferred role?? Counsellor Coach Partner "You do it; “You do it; How can "We will do it I will control the I guide you to find together and learn process" the correct path” from each other."Maintain control of process Facilitator Teacher Modeller "You do it; "Here are some "I will do it; you I will attend to principles you can watch so you can the process." use to solve this learn from me." problem." Reflective observer Technical adviser Hands-on expert "You do it; I will "I will answer your "I will do it for watch and tell you questions as you you; what I see and hear." go along.” I will tell you what to do." Providing solution / answer
  3. 3. Key phases in the facilitation process Before a workshop During the workshop End of/ after workshop Prepare Focus Plan Do ReviewIdentify and define Agree purpose of Get agreement Facilitate group Review processpurpose, objectives, workshop and aim on process, processes and results fromroles, process and to contract with agenda and meetingoutput of meeting Encourage the participants timing participation Agree on nextPrepare and contract “Contract” …. Prepare to be stepson objectives, process • Objectives flexible Summarise,and roles with project • Expectations Debrief with team • Ground rules check forSPONSOR • Scope agreement and leader • Level of participation push for action. • Next steps
  4. 4. Hints and tips when facilitating After Before In the In the In the meeting meeting meeting meeting meeting Prepare Focus Plan Do Review• What levels of goal is • Engage the group • Plan the process (stages, • Separate emotions/issues from • Ask somebody else in the appropriate? timings, milestones, people group to summarise (not • Contract with the group signposting) • Adopt the appropriate style you)• What communication (ground rules). with stakeholders is • Agree and draw the plan • Say what you see • Give a sense of closure • Set shared/owned required? but but be ready to be • Be flexible if you find the goalposts objectives • Leave it on a high note flexible shift• Do I know my audience? • Keep visible records as • Use the group‟s language and • Plan the next steps • Ensure there is• Do I need to manage you go for ground rules, terminology together understanding and people‟s expectations? objectives and output commitment to the plan • Encourage participation from all • Think about your own• Are my aims realistic? • Clearly define your role. • Use the full range of question types personal development • Agree any roles or Be sure understanding of (what did I do• What is the best responsibilities. Delegate • Ensure visual aids and flipchart „facilitator‟ is shared well/badly?) environment? key roles such as a time writing is readable (room, layout props etc.) • Set an appropriate keeper and a writing • Get all the issues out on the table • Gather formal and emotional tone for the assistant• What hidden agendas • Show respect and empathy informal feedback from event could there be? • Agree what will the group • Voice others‟ opinions in neutral tone • Consider asking the group constitute a decision and language• What will be a good • Follow up the meeting what they think the (e.g. majority vote, agenda to put to the • Draw the fire and protect the with some communication purpose is (may raise consensus, unanimous group? vulnerable at a later date? hidden agendas) agreement)• What goes into my • Balance the discussion across the • Involve everybody – build • Consider to use whole group introduction? commitment techniques like nominal• What problems should I group technique, • Use the group creatively • Test assumptions • Focus on the group‟s strengths anticipate? solution matrices, • Understand what the ranking, fishbowl and • Don‟t just hear the loud people outcomes should be thinking hats • Use the environment to your • Get the group to own the advantage responsibility to succeed • Use breakouts as a time to step back and think at a higher level • Don‟t be scared of silence • The right outcome is more important than an outcome!
  5. 5. Session 10: FacilitationTechniques
  6. 6. Different techniques can be used to vary the atmosphere and focus in the group Driving forwardCreate confidence & trust • Scaling• Systemic thinking • The Consultant• Who are you? • Questioning• Change of behaviour • Take a break • Parking lot Opening up creativity • Ask the guru • SCAMPER • Forced relationships • Brain writing pool Narrowing down options • Ideal world • Lists and voting rights • Prop analogies • Grids • Thinking hats • Filtering • “Yes, and..” • Set unrealistic goals • Handling crisis
  7. 7. Systemic thinking This exercise enables the group to warm up to each other and also demonstrates how people interact with each other dynamically in an organisation How to run the exercise:  Ask all the people in the group to choose two spots in the room and stand directly in the middle of these two spots  Now, ask everyone to choose one spot and one person in the group, and then stand in the middle of the spot and the person  Then, ask everyone to choose two persons in the group and stand in the middle of these two persons
  8. 8. Who are you? This exercise provides an easy and quite fun to get to know the group members, and is also quite useful to get people to start talking to each other about other things than work The main point of the exercise is to group people who have something in common – and then change the subject and establish new groups An example:  “Everyone that lives in a house gather by the window, and everyone who lives in a flat assemble by the door. The rest of you can go to the whiteboard and gather there”  “Now, everyone who has a main background from HR gather by the window, everyone with a main background from sales go to the whiteboard, while everyone with a background from consulting goes to door”  Etc Other subjects can be e.g. nationality, where you were born, number of siblings, how many subordinates you have, favourite colour, type of pets or how many different line managers you have had in your career..
  9. 9. Change of behaviour This exercise enables the group to warm up to each other and also demonstrates how difficult it is to change established patterns How to run this exercise: 1. Ask the group to walk around until you say “stop”, and start walking again when you say “walk” 2. Say “stop” and “walk” a couple of times (“walk”, “walk”, “stop”, “walk”, “stop”, “stop”, etc) 3. Inform the group that “stop” now means walk, “walk” means stop 4. Say “stop” and “walk” a couple of times (“walk”, “walk”, “stop”, “walk”, “stop”, “stop”, etc) 5. Repeat 1-4 above, but this time use the words “jump” and “make a curtsey ” 6. Now, say all the words in random order (stop, walk, jump, make a curtsey) - remember that “stop” still means “walk”, and “jump” still means “make a curtsey”
  10. 10. Ask the guru Seeing the problem through someone else’s eyes brings a totally new perspective How would the following people approach this problem?  Hans Christian Andersen  Charles Darwin  Walt Disney  Richard Branson  Napoleon  Madonna Take initial ideas and keep forcing developments - often the best ideas are not the immediate ones
  11. 11. Example - inspiring new ways ofthinkingGuru = Madonna Implications for the car: Changes image Make it more sporty Adverts to get it noticed Controversial Consider movements -balance/suspension Dances Consider implications for driver image Acts Sound systems Sings Possible to change colours regularly Fashion Use lighting to show best aspects. Concerts Win awards Number One Associate with stars that stand for quality Raunchy
  12. 12. SCAMPER checklistThis can be used once a few ideas have been tabled.This is for both building on ideas and generating new ones.S ubstitute – one idea for anotherC ombine – ideas to make a better oneA dapt – change the idea or the problemM aximise/minimise – make it bigger or smallerP ut to other use – use the idea for something elseE liminate – eliminate or go-around the problems, don’t solve itR everse – think how you could make it worse!
  13. 13. Forced relationshipsTake a word or images selected at random, and try to force a relationshipbetween it and the issue in hand – what new insights are generated? Acupunctur Snow Wall Street Formula 1 e boarding Oscar Tabloids Dentistry Nutrition night Soap Space Cruiseliners Plumbing operas travelExample: Find a name for a new - best seller - drink.Using the words above, the following names spring to my mind: Summercruise, nutrition bomb, snow powder…
  14. 14. The brain-writing pool1. A problem is presented to the group.2. Each person writes down four or five ideas on an A4 sheet. These are then placed into the centre of the room.3. Each person then picks one of the idea sheets and builds on the ideas to develop further ideas.4. The process can be repeated for three or four rounds - it can help to play music while this is happening to stimulate creative thinking!5. The facilitator then captures and categorises the ideas.
  15. 15. The ideal world technique1. Identify and explain the problem.2. Brainstorm a wish list of all the things which solve this problem in an ideal world.3. Hand out a selection of magazines to the group, and ask pairs to build on ideal world solutions using words and images - either ripping out pictures or jotting down ideas.4. Each pair presents their images and ideas to the rest of the group for further idea building.
  16. 16. Prop analogiesTake a prop out of the bag and find away to link it to the problemthat the group is solving.
  17. 17. Thinking Hats Edward de Bonos Six Thinking Hats® proposes six different ways of thinking about an idea. By grouping the hats into 3 pairs you open up new angles by asking suitable questions Information available Alternatives and and needed creative ideasFacts v CreativityFeelings Intuition, v Overview of the feelings and Structure process hunches Values and benefits Why something might work Strengths v Cautions and difficulties Weaknesse Where things might go wrong s
  18. 18. Red and White – Facts v Feeling White Hat - neutral and detached thinking What are the facts? What information is missing? What further research do I need to do? What does logic tell me to do? Red Hat - intuitive thinking How do I feel about it? Whats my gut reaction? Whats my hunch? How should I investigate my hunches?
  19. 19. Yellow and Black – Strengths vWeaknesses Black Hat - logical thinking (negative) Whats the bad news? What (factual, logistical, or ethical) problems do we see? Where is the strategy weak? What are the biggest threats? Yellow Hat - logical thinking (positive) Whats the good news? What benefits do we see? What parts of our strategy demonstrate a strength? What are we confident of?
  20. 20. Green and Blue – Creativity vStructure Green Hat - creative thinking What are the possibilities? What haven’t I thought of yet? What are the other ways of looking at this? - Blue Hat - procedural thinking Where do I go from here? Is it time for a summary? What are the consequences?
  21. 21. Scaling• Used to rank for example performance on a scale from 1-10• First you rank “as is” on the scale and describe WHY• Then you increase the score by max 2 on the scale, and describe “to be” and actions needed• Finally you describe max on the scale and actions needed10 •F •G 7 ”To be” - areas of improvement •D •E 5 •A •B ”As is” – what you are good at today •C
  22. 22. The consultant Useful when the group is stuck, lacks energy, is frustrated, or in other ways needs another perspective to move on Ask the group to gather in a corner of the room. Tell them that they are now consultants with an assignment to analyse the meeting they just attended Help the group by asking them questions like  “What sort of behaviour do you see in this group?”  “Why does the group appear to be stuck in the same discussion over an over again?”  “What sort of advice will you give the group (alt.: a special person) in the group to help them move forward?” Note that the group members are not allowed to use names or personal pronoun. Use e.g “the man in the blue shirt”, even if they are talking about themselves
  23. 23. Lists and voting rights• Consider sensible criteria: e.g. likely market value, risk, speed to market, fit with current brand positioning.• Give everyone 3 votes and mark their choices against the long list of ideas with ticks or stars – take the most popular ideas forward for further development.• Ideas can also be quickly classified into groups e.g fast to market, high market potential etc• This is an informal approach which has the advantages of speed and buy-in, and provides a start point for screening.• It‟s sensible to review all the ideas again later in order to ensure nothing has been missed.
  24. 24. Grids Identify key criteria for evaluating ideas and set up two-dimensional grids to screen each idea (this works well with post-it notes) Impact on performance Criteria should fit with overall strategy Fit with existing resources
  25. 25. Filtering ideas Eliminates the least useful ideas by filtering through objective criteria Appropriate when the need to cut down the number of ideas is more important than the need to preserve their variety. Choose objective criteria to act as filters. The earlier criteria should be designed to screen out a lot of ideas, whereas later ones should provide more refined filters. Example:  1st filter: Evidence of market need?  2nd filter Ready for testing in under 6 months?  3rd filter: Strategic fit?
  26. 26. What technique is the most appropriate depends on the situation in question? Driving forwardCreate confidence & trust • Scaling• Systemic thinking • The Consultant• Who are you? • Questioning• Change of behaviour • Take a break • Parking lot Opening up creativity • Ask the guru • SCAMPER • Forced relationships • Brain writing pool Narrowing down options • Ideal world • Lists and voting rights • Prop analogies • Grids • Thinking hats • Filtering • “Yes, and..” • Set unrealistic goals • Handling crisis