Engage Participants

mfi-2Adopt a variety of strategies to keep group conversation lively, productive, and all  of your meeting participants engaged.

As a facilitative leader, you know that participant interaction is essential for understanding, collective learning, and alignment.  When you are facilitating a “whole group” conversation,  be aware that it is easy for participants to disengage and let others (often positional leaders or subject matter experts) dominate the discussion.

Do you know how to provide meaningful opportunities for everyone to contribute fully and meaningfully?

Let us assume that the right people are in the room for the work of the agenda.  What are some techniques you can adopt to engage your participants and ensure their perspectives, input and ideas are developed, heard and considered?

TIP:  To facilitate more engaging and lively conversations and overall, more productive meetings, here are four facilitation strategies you might adopt:

  1. SUBGROUPS: Count off subgroups, and assign them the task of fleshing out initial thinking on different aspects of a focus question for presentation back to the whole.
  2. PARTNERS: Invite pairs/trios to discuss the focus question together for 3-5 minutes. Get highlights and record the top notes during report out, using the ‘me too!” principle to avoid unnecessary repetition.
  3. GO-ROUNDS: Once key information has been shared, ensure the conversation is not dominated by the boss or subject matter expert. Invite a timed go-round so that everyone has an equal chance to input, e.g., “let’s take no more than 2 minutes each to….”
  4. POLLING: After the discussion has gone on for a while, invite a straw poll through a show of hands, e.g., ” on a scale of 1 to 5, how much do you agree with _____?”, then discuss the reasons that folks voted as they did.

There are many other skills to being an effective facilitative leader. Commit to enhancing the facilitative leadership skills in your organization!

Bring The Confident Facilitator and our other facilitation skills courses in-house and enhance the overall level of organizational health, engagement and productivity with better facilitated meetings, sessions and workshop. Interested? 

Author: myriamlaberge

M.A. (Economics), Certified Professional Facilitator Founder & Managing Director