How to Effectively Use the Whiteboard to Facilitate Discussions People get together for discussions to make decisions, draw up action plans or to get agreement on certain matters. For discussions to be effective, different views must be heard and understood. A whiteboard with multiple colored markers and a whiteboard eraser are an effective means to facilitate such a discussion.
The first challenge is to keep the meeting focused on its objectives and the desired outcomes. While you may have informed the participants of them beforehand and also presented this at the beginning of the meeting, the first action you want to take is to write these on the whiteboard before the meeting starts. By doing this, if and when the meeting gets distracted, point back to the objectives to get the meeting back on track.
The second challenge in these meetings is to capture all the points discussed and to consider them all in finalizing the outcome. Discussions are normally unstructured and there is a tendency for people to ramble. As points are being made, capture each of them on the whiteboard.
Once the obvious topics have been handled, then look at the issues. Issues need to be discussed and resolved by the participants. If they cannot be resolved, then action items need to be included to follow through.
Using the whiteboard with multiple colored markers and the eraser can significantly improve your role as a facilitator. It typically also leaves the participants with a feeling that all their input has been considered. At the end of the meeting, you can pretty much document the points and actions that have already been written on the whiteboard. To top it off, you will find that it is a more fun experience to facilitate discussions this way.
The irony is that goods that are designed to have a short user-lifespan, such as regular whiteboard markers, cost considerably more, 70% more in the case of regular whiteboard markers compared to the AusPen.
Interactive Whiteboards are phenomenal tools. Don't know what an interactive whiteboard is? Perhaps you've heard of some of their brand names - SMART Board, ActivBoard, eBeam, Mimio, and Webster are some of the most widely used at this time.