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Effective Meetings

Will Online Meetings Become a Whole New Offshoot of Facilitation?

All of us have experienced a new norm of online meetings. Like the split tree photo in this banner, I believe online facilitation will become as important and as normal as face-to-face meetings. Maybe even more so. Thus, our mission is to become as skillful facilitating in the online as the in-person environment. And, if…

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Art of Maintaining a Clear & Focused Facilitator Mind

I just came off a silent meditation retreat. I do these every year to clear my mind. It also helps me set new intentions and practices. I know that as facilitator I need to come to the group with a clear and sharply focused mind. There are many ways to develop a mind free from…

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Increasing the Meta Impact of Your Energizers

At the IAF Asia conference last week, Grace Tan from Singapore and I co-facilitated a session on meaningful energizers. We were trying to urge facilitators to choose their energizers and ice breakers wisely, not just because it was a favorite thing to do. We recommend you do not use energizers as a “filler” or simply…

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Create Inspiring, Captivating Mission and Values

When employees and volunteers connect to the organization’s mission, values or guiding principles in a personal way, they become more motivated, committed and fulfilled. This connection occurs by engaging people in the development of these foundational statements. Facilitators help groups do this through thoughtful dialogue and creative processes. Here is a short, pithy overview of…

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Why Your Meetings May Not Get Results

People complain a lot about nothing happens after the meeting.  That means that people do not follow up to actions assigned to them.  Or worse, no actions are assigned to anyone.  I am guilty of not getting to next steps often in meetings also. I am going to address it from two angles: 1. How can…

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Staying Calm When the Group Hates Your Facilitator Process!

Or you, the participant hate the process! Some people profess to not like process. I guarantee that at times in meetings, it might be as high as 75%+ of the group who are not enjoying the process. If you could hear people think out loud it might sound like this, “Why can’t everyone just think…

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When Dot Voting is Unfair and Ineffective – What to Do Instead

I think everyone I know who has heard about facilitation or practices it, also knows about dot voting. It may be one of the most popular yet misused tools I’ve ever encountered in the field. I feel so strongly about it’s misuse that I’ve probably only used it twice in my entire career. Those two…

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People Who Talk Too Much in Meetings – Respectfully Dealing with Dominance

When I looked up the phrase “dominant behavior”  on the internet, I found a lot of articles on  dominance in animals – the alpha male phenomenon etc.  In fact, one definition of dominant behaviour said it was “initially established by fighting, threatening displays or interchanges. AND, once established, usually maintained by competitive behaviours…” I realized quickly…

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Seven Facilitator Tips to Make Your Training MUCH More Engaging

You have your training plan ready and you realize you want it to be more engaging. Typical training is about passing on learning and content, in small or large blocks. It provides theory, information, and ideally activities to help retain the information. But the emphasis is on a hierarchical model where the trainer is the…

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Facilitating When Senior Leaders Are in the Meeting

We’ve all been in meetings where our direct boss is attending or there are very senior leaders in the room. That’s a real facilitator dilemma. You the facilitator should have full control of the group, but you may not feel you can do this with senior leaders in the room. This is a common question…

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