Listen Actively – Work & Life Skill

Good facilitators are good listeners. Cultivating your capacity to listen actively will serve you well at work, and in every other aspect of your life.
TIP: Here’s are 9 ways to enhance your listening skills when facilitating:
  1. Listen like you mean it – show genuine interest and curiosity.
  2. Suspend your assumptions, listening to understand what is really being spoken.
  3. Listen with all your senses – eyes, body language, tone of voice.
  4. Listen for what is not being said as well as the words being spoken.
  5. Move towards the speaker to be more closely connected.
  6. Scan the whole room to sense how others are reacting and responding to what is being said.
  7. Write it down, and check out what you’ve written to ensure the speaker does feel heard.
  8. As culturally appropriate, use eye contact to acknowledge people, and to encourage quiet folks to take part.
  9. Assist those with differing ability to articulate; paraphrase what you believe they are trying to say.

Call to Action: The ability to listen actively is 1 of 10 best facilitator practices. Enhance your facilitation skills today. Bring this course in-house to your team or organization: The Confident Facilitator,  Masterful Facilitation Institute.


So You Want to be a Facilitator…?

 Image® by Avril Orloff
Image® by Avril Orloff

So you want to be a facilitator?  This humourous graphic illustrates the attributes of an inspired facilitator:

  • Large Ears– to listen to all things said and “spoken between the lines”.
  • Sharp Eyes –  to read body language and visual cues in a single scan.
  • Tiny Mouth –  to hold onto personal opinions, while speaking with integrity and neutrality.
  • Warm Heart – to treat everyone with respect and compassion.
  • Open Hands  – to manage process effectively with methods/questions that invite full participation.
  • Solid Feet – to be a stable force in the face of complexity, dynamics and emergence.
  • Unifying Spirit – to serve the health and well-being of the whole.

Bring our empowering facilitation courses in-house. Contact us for your discovery call.

What A Great Meeting!

People meet for all sorts of reasons.greatmtg Organizations bring people together to accomplish all sorts of outcomes. But, not all of those meetings would be dubbed productive nor would all the participants proclaim, “Wow! What a great meeting.” In fact, it’s probably quite the opposite.

Great meetings take work. The mistake most of us make is we assume we can just ‘wing it’. Not so. The more seemingly effortless, easy and natural the meeting; the more likely a good deal of preparation happened beforehand to achieve that. Continue reading “What A Great Meeting!”

Where Do We Want To Be?

Articulating A Bold Consensus Vision of the Desired Future

vision.path2As often attributed to Cat and Alice in Lewis Carroll’s novel, “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

The visioning phase of strategic planning is about becoming crystal clear on your destination – the vivid images of what you’ll see when you get there. This creative, aspirational, and visionary stage is usually the one that your participants are looking forward to. Continue reading “Where Do We Want To Be?”

Dysfunctional Meeting Characters

Participants Bring Both Their Good and Bad Sides to Meetings

good and badEver meet any of these dysfunctional characters below in your meetings? And if so, are you equipped with facilitative strategies to pro-actively prevent or intervene in the moment, so the meeting is not disrupted? Continue reading “Dysfunctional Meeting Characters”

Standing in the Fire

When Facilitating Complex Group Dynamics: The Main Thing is Not to Panic!

stand in fireYou’ve been hired to facilitate a meeting involving a diverse group of people whose ideas, specialized knowledge, expertise, alignment and/or support are needed for an important outcome. Yet the diversity inherent in that cross-functional group, inter-disciplinary project team, organization-wide planning session, or multi-stakeholder meeting is a potential source of complex group dynamics.

What can you do to minimize the possibility of group dynamics disrupting productive work? Continue reading “Standing in the Fire”