How do you decide from among the hundreds of possible facilitated activities, which ones will be best for your meeting, session or workshop? In this blog, we review five important factors to consider as you design your agenda and select your best group activities: 1) type of system; 2) workshop purpose; 3) group size; 4) participant mindset; and 5) your level of mastery.
What? So What? Now What? Framework
When reflecting on a shared experience or event, unstructured conversation is often our default mode for engaging participants. What happens is similar to different people describing an elephant. Each will respond from their unique perspective and vantage point. Though each answer is valid, it is also partial. The helpful question framework: "What? So What? Now What?" (Reflective Model, Rolfe et. al. 2001) serves to focus contributions so all participants are talking about the same thing at the same time for more focused and more complete group reflection.
Whether you facilitate in person or online, effective facilitation is founded on good process design, core facilitator practices for guiding the group, and appropriate techniques to gather participant contributions. The Facilitation Diamond Process is the standard structure that informs how to design all group work to follow a natural arc of collaborative conversation for success.
Promise and Challenge of Collaboration
The moment you bring diverse stakeholders together, especially if they cross departmental units like Finance, Operations, HR, or cross organizational boundaries to include suppliers, customers or community groups, your session will require more upfront planning. This is where best facilitation practices help out.
Great leaders guide others to achieve extraordinary things. Similarly facilitation is a mission critical competency for any leader wishing to bring out the best in their team or group. The skills of facilitation include active listening, strategic thinking, challenging the status quo, encouraging a shared vision, empowering others to act.
Want to ensure the success of any meeting, whether leading virtually on a video-conference platform, or in-person during a face-to-face work session? Attend what you do Before, at the Start, During, at the End and Throughout.
Want some quick tips for great meeting process? Professional facilitators attend to these five dimensions of great process: Attention. Interaction. Information. Organization and Energy. Get some quick take-away tips you can apply right away
As a remote meeting leader, you are either running a virtual meeting or a work session. Making a distinction between the two is vitally important to your ability to successfully facilitate online collaboration.
Human beings do their best work in welcoming environments that nurture their needs for safety, connection and respect, and where trust is built up over time. Learn how do you can build trust / community with your remote group.