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Topic Title (change to the call topic)
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Facilitating from the Side
- How often are you in rambling meetings or meetings that are not focused?
- If you're in a meeting that's not well run, look around the room, is everybody else "showing signs" that's it's going badly?
- Are you or everybody else wondering why you are there?
- Learn to recognize the signs
- That's your chance to step in - facilitating from the side; help to get meeting back on track
- Ask clarifying questions from a place of humility:
- I'm just a bit confused
- maybe I missed this in the e-mail
- what is it we're trying to get to
- at the end of the meeting you would like to have...,
- and that means you want us to,
- help you do this,
- let me clarify this
- set the goal, agenda, define the role of the participants
- can I write them down? do you mind if I put that on the whiteboard?
- if you have the pens then you kinda run the meeting
- start offering activities to help,
- you would like to get our input,
- just so I know could you let me know what's in scope and out of scope,
- agenda bash to put ideas on the whiteboard,
- what do we want to talk about 1st,
- sticky note exercise,
- go around
- I thought we'd review this document (that wasn't sent beforehand) - ask to postpone meeting
- should we break out into small groups?
- Structure and purpose of the document
- Be clear on what it is people are doing
- So who else had comments on X?
- So what does this do?
- Broker the conversation;
- i didn't see anything about X, did anyone else have the same view?
- Asking questions but structuring how it's going to happen
- Be a time keeper for the meeting; start to provide time checks; there's 5 mins left should we start talking about next steps?
- Can we take this away and read it? Use Google docs for team collaboration
- Offer to help capture notes
- Remember the goal and keep the meeting focused
- Eg. move the "parking lot" outside the meeting room; "we're going to take that out of the room"
- By asking questions what you end up with: goals for the meeting, defined the roles of the participants, define outcomes, scoped the conversations, developed a process by which we'll get there by suggesting activities, capture notes, provide time checks, push towards next steps , follow up afterwards
- PROPER meeting guidelines, purpose, objectives
- Political Lens: who's meeting it is, who's in the room
- Cultural Lens: how does this team/group work, are you the outsider
- Control Lens: strong command and control structure, top down hierarchy,
- is it worth your investment, is the meeting salvageable, are you going to be the facilitator for the next meetings, do you worry about your capital/cost/reputation
- in political meetings you may be meeting with people above your pay grade, you may be nervous about it, come from humility makes it softer
- check framework for feedback
- Reflect on how your facilitation from the side went/worked
- Did you get what you wanted
- Offering to help plan and run meetings
- what are people going to get out of it, what's their role, what are they contributing, what are you going to get out of it
- agenda items: why is this here, what is it doing, what is it are you really going to get from it
- Table talk
- it's an easier conversation to have face to face rather than Zoom
- How to deal with detractors to a meeting; use facilitation techniques for effective meetings
- use architects to take notes
- Take notes in a public space where they can be seen; having a 2nd person in the room is also very useful
- how to solicit feedback from persons not speaking up or perhaps shy or introvert; use sticky note exercises, write your top 3 ideas down, 1-2 for all, private-pair public, shift and comment
- Go around (for next meeting/topic): have someone to bring you back on track when you start breaking the rules, takes practice to from a judgement on whether to lean in harder or less
Homework: Which of the following are you going to commit to to doing in your next unfocused meeting?
- Clarifying questions
- Time check
Try this in journal - record the results of your efforts