CAP 108: The Fundamentals of Effective Meeting and Facilitation Skills
Learning Objectives • Upon completion of this workshop you will be able to: • Design, plan and prepare for effective meetings • Explain the role of the facilitator before and during a meeting • Differentiate between when to facilitate and when to lead during meetings • Handle the dynamics of challenging group situations • Effectively direct the energies and talents of a group to achieve the objectives and/ or outcomes defined for the meeting • Facilitate a group from ideas to actions
Today’s Agenda • Welcome & Introduction • The Key Components to Effective Meetings • Before the Meeting - Planning • The Role of the Facilitator • Group Dynamics • Getting the Most from Meeting Participants • Practice .. Practice .. Practice • Wrap up and evaluations
Welcome & Warm Up • Introduce Yourself • Complete the following statements … • “I hate meetings that / when …….. “ • “Meetings are great when they …. “ • “My biggest challenge with meetings is …. “
ICE BREAKERS • The importance of icebreakers … • Help to clarify group members’ expectations & knowledge • Introduce participants to working within a group • Provide space to build interpersonal relationships • Relieve anxiety • Provide facilitator with insights as to the group’s mood, motivation, and unique focus • Provide an example of an icebreaker you have used or experienced
ESTABLISHING GROUND RULES • Ground rules: • Enable the facilitator and the participants to establish principles for how they will work together. • Create structure / contract amongst the participants to manage conversation and interaction • Tool to aid the facilitator when dealing with difficult participants
SAMPLE GROUND RULES • Participate, speak up and share information • Don’t monopolize time .. Give everyone a chance to speak • Turn off cell phones and pagers • Respect everyone’s ideas .. you don’t have to agree but be positive and constructive when disagreeing • Don’t carry on ‘side bar’ conversations • What is said in the room .. Stays in the room • Be open to new ideas and ways of thinking • One conversation at a time • Stay on time for breaks and lunch • Have fun !
OUR GROUND RULES FOR TODAY ….. • 1. • 2. • 3. • 4. • 5. • 6.
Key to Success .. Design, Plan and Prepare for Effective Meetings
Effective Meeting Components (Goals & Objectives) Process (Topics) Content People Planning
Importance of Meeting ‘Objectives’ • Ensures that everyone knows why they are there • Enables participants to prepare appropriately • Helps the facilitator to design the meeting to ensure objectives are achieved • Helps the facilitator keep the participants on track and focused during the meeting
Purpose of the Agenda • A road map for how the objectives will be achieved • Keeps the meeting focused on key topics • Builds commitment to the task when meeting participants contribute to an agenda and agree to it • Gives the facilitator a mandate to intervene when the discussion loses focus
The Various Factors to Consider when Planning for a Meeting • Why are we meeting? • What do I want to achieve? • Content, sequence, timing • Who Needs to be there? • How can each person contribute to this meeting? • What materials are needed? • Should they be sent in advance? When? • How should they be sent? • Purpose for the meeting • Objectives • Structure / Flow • Participants • Roles & responsibilities • Materials / Handouts
The Various Factors to Consider when Planning for a Meeting Cont’d … • March break ? • Size of room, layout • Where • Time of day • Accessibility (public transit) • Parking • Projects • Flip charts, markers • Refreshments • Schedule • Facilities • Logistics • OTHER IDEAS ???
Learning Activity 1- Planning for a Meeting In small groups, work on the scenarios on Pg. 11 of Workbook 2. Consider the objectives, purpose, agenda, invitees, roles, decision-making strategy, the room, food, preparation, follow-up, additional stakeholders… The details are less important in this exercise than the thinking that goes into them. If you adjust one thing, how does it affect the others? Each group will present their results
Labour negotiations – Union and management representatives will be meeting to renegotiate the contract that is set to expire. What would be the implications of having a facilitator run the meetings? How would the parties decide on a facilitator? What would the scope of authority be for the facilitator? How would this be different than a mediator? How would the meetings differ if the parties are on good terms versus tense terms? In a potential strike situation? Where would the meetings be held, and what would be required of the facilities? A staff person has just been fired or suspended – Should there be a meeting? If so, what roles would a leader and/or facilitator play in a team or all-staff meeting? What would the purpose of the meeting be, and how would it be achieved? Who should be invited? How would the room be arranged? How would the considerations vary if the person was fired for insubordination, laziness or failure to fulfill duties, discriminatory or other inappropriate behaviour with colleagues or clients? What if the organization has under 12 staff versus over 50? What if the person who left was a volunteer instead of an employee? Multiple agencies are partnering on a Trillium Foundation application and they have not worked together closely on other projects – Who should attend the meetings? Should there be a facilitator or a leader to run the meeting? How would the person(s) be selected? What decision-making approach will you use and how will it be determined? Who would establish the purpose, the agenda, run the meeting, conduct the follow up? What are the considerations for the organization that will host the meeting? How will expenses be handled? Learning Activity 1- Planning for a Meeting
WHAT IS ‘FACILITATION’? Facilitation is broadly used to describe any activity which makes tasks for others easy. For example: In business ‘facilitation’ is used to ensure the designing and running of successful meetings.
The Role of the Facilitator • Create an environment for a group of individuals to come together and achieve its goals & outcomes • Balances between achieving ‘task’, managing the ‘process’ and ‘engaging’ the participants • Tends to listen • Provides structure • Use processes, tools & techniques that build group dynamics • Keep the group on track • Help resolve conflict • Draws out participation from everyone • Ensures the goals and objectives are met
The Role of a Chairperson • Tends to be a senior person in the organization • Heavily involved in the ‘business aspect’ of the meeting • Often has a stake in the outcome of the meeting • Controls the agenda, timing, flow during the meeting • Tends to speak a lot • Keeps the meeting moving • ‘Facilitates’ the process * • *Definite overlap between a facilitator and chair
Confident Flexible Objective Patient Excellent listener Ability to think on their feet Ability to confront issues Adapts to the group dynamics Respectful OTHER IDEAS ??? Flexible ego Intuitive Responsive Articulate Ability to summarize key points in a clear and concise manner Ability to ‘read’ a group and individuals Leads, directs and keeps moving Sense of humour Some Characteristics of a Successful Facilitator
The Value of Facilitated Meetings • Provides the opportunity to create an environment where the full contribution of each and every member of the group is allowed, encouraged and supported • Provides the opportunity to tap into the hidden potential of all employees or group members • Enables the organization to create an atmosphere where: • People are encouraged to participate actively and to think creatively. • People are involved in problem solving and decision making. • People see themselves as partners and have a strong sense of responsibility and commitment to the process • Trust and integrity is built and nurtured through an open and caring flow of information.
Learning Activity 2 – ReflectionCan I Facilitate ? … Take a moment to answer these questions for yourself • Are you willing to listen to others without judgment or preconceived notions about what they should or shouldn't say or do? • Do you show respect for the opinions of others even when they disagree with you? • Can you release the need to have complete control of a conversation or other situations? • Are you comfortable dealing with conflict? • Are you comfortable speaking in public? • Are you able to laugh at yourself? • Can you think on your feet? • Do you believe that groups working together are smarter than individuals working alone? • Can you accept feedback from others about yourself?
Other Roles for Meeting Participants • Expert / Resource • Minute / Notetaker • Timekeeper • Gatekeeper • Co-facilitator
Group Dynamics • Group dynamics refers to the understanding of the behaviour of people in groups that are trying to solve a problem or make a decision. • A skilled facilitator is able to assist a group in accomplishing its goals & objectives by determining how well the group is functioning as a problem-solving or decision-making entity and intervening appropriately, to alter the group's operating behaviour.
Process Intervention: Dealing with Difficult Behaviours • An intervention is an interruption by the facilitator of the meeting and conversation to refocus participants and and/or rebalance group interaction. • The objective of an intervention to keep the process on track and moving forward making the best use of time and resources. • As a facilitator you want to balance participation with meeting results.
Discussion --- Suggested Interventions for: • Side bar conversations • Staying on time • Never ending discussions • Personal attacks • Person who always sees the glass as ‘half empty’ • Participants coming back late from breaks / lunch • Participants with personal agendas • Participants that are very quiet • Individuals that ‘over contribute’
Learning Activity 3A • Anytown Neighborhood Services Agency (ANSA) is holding a planning meeting to submit a proposal for a new program to the provincial government, who is their major funding partner. Below are the participants and their role: • Meeting Facilitator • ANSA’s Executive Director • Director of Programs • Program Co-ordinator • Administrative Assistant • Working on your own: • Imagine you will be the facilitator of the meeting. Complete the Planning Form found in your Participant Workbook. • (Time: 10 minutes)
Learning Activity 3B • Working in a small group:(Time: 15 minutes) • Discuss each of your answers with your team. • In preparation for the meeting, collectively as a group, agree upon the following items: • Meeting Objectives • Resources • Ice Breaker / Opener • Discussion Questions • Closing / Summary • Meeting Evaluation Method
Learning Activity 3C • Working in your same small group: • Appoint / nominate / volunteer a facilitator • Conduct the meeting • (Time: 30 minutes)
DEBRIEF of Learning Activity 3C • What were your meeting objectives? • What worked well? • What challenges did the ‘facilitator’ experience? • What changes would you make? • Were the meeting objectives met?
Learning Activity 3D • Working in your same small group: (Time: 30 minutes) • Appoint / nominate / volunteer a different facilitator • Meeting participants select a ‘behaviour’ from the envelope given to your group. • Assume the “persona” you selected for the roleplay • Conduct the meeting • Facilitators – apply the skills you’ve learned today to manage the group dynamics & process
DEBRIEF of Learning Activity 3D • What worked well? • As facilitators, what challenges did you experience? • As participants, what new challenges did you experience? • What would you do differently as a: • facilitator? • participant? • Did any of the participants help with the group process and intervene? How? What happened?
Get More Out Of Meetings! • Have a purpose • Create content • Prepare • Define roles and responsibilities • Create processes • Keep the meeting focused and moving • Ensure participation and team building • Intervene when necessary with sensitivity and diplomacy • Pay attention to the group dynamics • Act as a resource
Facilitators - Fine Tune Your Skills • Focus: • Separate yourself as the facilitator from the discussion • Keep the issue clear and manageable • Help participants ‘stick to the issue’. • Help speakers avoid repeating other people’s points • Keep the meeting moving
Facilitators - Fine Tune Your Skills • Positive Attitudes: • Set the tone upfront • Keep discussions from getting too heated • Give positive feedback • Discourage criticism • Refer to points and ideas by title not the person who presented them • Make the space comfortable. Arrive early!
Facilitators - Fine Tune Your Skills • Participation: • Recognize speakers and get everyone involved • Encourage everyone to speak their mind • Encourage creativity
Facilitators - Fine Tune Your Skills • Pulling it All Together! • Sum up what has been said / agreed upon • Use resources to list / show points for all to review • Know if / when a decision cannot be made, why and what is needed to proceed • Make sure everyone understands the decision when one is made
Learning Objectives • Having completed this workshop you should now be able to: • Design, plan and prepare for effective meetings • Explain the role of the facilitator before and during a meeting • Differentiate between when to facilitate and when to lead during meetings • Handle the dynamics of challenging group situations • Effectively direct the energies and talents of a group to achieve the defined objectives and/ or outcomes defined for the meeting • Facilitate a group from ideas to actions
CAP 108: The Fundamentals of Effective Meeting and Facilitation Skills