Friday, September 28, 2012

Meeting Facilitation For Positive End Results

A great deal of time is typically invested in meetings, but the sad truth is that much of that time is wasted when someone is not in charge of meeting facilitation. Meetings provide the opportunity to share ideas about project launches, suggest solutions, and then reach an agreement about how to proceed. A facilitation training course may be in order prior to embarking on this type of meeting.

In an effort to ensure a smooth transition between beginning and ending, meetings should be well organized and include meeting facilitation techniques. Otherwise it may end up wasting valuable human resources, and being unproductive overall.

Icebreakers are well worth the effort because they engage attendees by either helping them to learn about each other, or by providing a specific message. The atmosphere of meetings is improved through the effective use of icebreakers. An example of an icebreaker would begin with meeting facilitation personnel asking members to share information about themselves in the room.

There is a tendency in some leaders to ask a question and then move on before anyone has the chance to give an answer. By simply giving attendees seven seconds to comprehend the question and then respond, greater understanding is accomplished. Valuable insights are gathered when members are offered the opportunity to share their thoughts.

Guidelines should always be in place for meetings so that team members understand what is, and what acceptable behavior is not. This will help bring about an honored consensus and shifts the ownership of the project to the group. It should take little time to set up the rules at the initial meeting and less time to acknowledge them during follow up meetings.

Meeting facilitation provides the opportunity to delegate different team members with various roles in the group thus allowing them to see that the leader/facilitator is not the only source for ideas or solutions to problems. Valuable alternative solutions and viewpoints are brought out when leaders facilitate the in-gathering of ideas. Often times meetings end before a documented plan has been devised for the next action that must be taken for improvement. Team members must be held responsible for taking actions and being accountable for completing the project on time. Resources are squandered when meetings come to an end without a plan of action being in place.

Getting back to the basics of meeting facilitation has nothing to do with high intelligence. It is just common sense. Leaders have the ability to change the way groups look at expectations. Working cultures are changed by effective leadership tactics. When done correctly, this builds success.

Meetings are those places where valuable human resources are spent discussing how best to tackle issues within organizations. When they feel natural to all members they have the ability to optimize the time spent by helping each member reach targeted goals.

Meeting facilitation is not something that should only be used by the executives in charge, but should routinely be part of the overall concept of doing business. Consistency demands the use of the above tips to create meetings that end in positive results.

A meeting facilitation can be improved through the enrollment of a facilitation training course, to better understand the process.

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