5 Characters Who Ruin Meetings

chaosBeyond one’s role or title, everyone brings their personality traits with them to a meeting. Some are a pleasure to work with. They generate ideas. They devise solutions. They weigh options. And some, alas, come across as dastardly characters who can ruin a meeting by digressing, arguing or hogging the microphone.

As an effective facilitator, you need to know how to spot these five characters before they take over your meeting or group session, and how to manage the dysfunction and ensure participation from everyone. Continue reading “5 Characters Who Ruin Meetings”

Facilitation Skills

image-1As you cast your mind to your  strategic priorities, remember the power of solid facilitation skills to help you and your team brainstorm creative ideas, foster collaboration and engagement, align around a shared vision, and agree on priority actions to take.

Click on the links below to view our empowering workshops and contact us to bring us in-house.


The Confident Facilitator: Essential Skills for Guiding Groups / Effective Meetings

The Skillful Facilitator: Strategies for Meeting Dynamics & Group Dysfunction


The Artful Visual Facilitator: Bring Meeting Results to Life with Graphics


The Facilitative Instructor: Best Practices for Active Learning Engagement


Contact Us to bring any of the above Public Workshop, or additional workshops (Agile, Strategic, Engaging, Virtual to you).


Strategies for Worse Scenarios

aaahh!Do these scenarios fill you with dread: Group dysfunction? Difficult people? Unwelcome dynamics? Learn how to facilitate the worst meeting scenarios with resilience and grace.

During The Skillful Facilitator, you’ll learn how to recognize symptoms of conflict and dysfunction, diagnose problems, and intervene appropriately. With a unique blend of classroom learning, practices, and empowering personal visual coaching session, you will be equipped and ready to handle even the worst meeting scenarios with confidence and poise.

“This course goes right to the heart of group dynamics and the scariest part of facilitation. You will receive concrete techniques to apply.” — AB, June 12, 2013

In The Skillful Facilitator, you will learn:

  • What your role is in the face of dysfunction or conflict
  • How to diagnose the sources of disagreement and dysfunction
  • Helpful models that prepare you for dealing with group dynamics
  • How to stay neutral, centered and effective
  • What questions to ask that support healthy outcomes
  • How to apply facilitative interventions in various scenarios
  • How to identify your personal triggers
  • Strategies to enable you to “stand in the fire” during conflict
  • Specific tips and insights for your specific needs and situations
  • And much more!

Topics include:

  • Source of group dynamics and dysfunction
  • Different reasons for disagreement
  • CPR for group dynamics and EAR for timely and neutral intervention
  • Tuckman model of group development
  • Role and importance of group norms
  • Strategies for different conflict scenarios
  • The power of your personal presence

This course is for you:

  • If you are a facilitator who lacks confidence dealing with difficult group situations
  • If you are a facilitator wanting greater skill with individual dysfunction or conflict
  • If you lead group work and need strategies for difficult meetings

Bring this empowering course in-house: The Skillful Facilitator

Dimensions to Managing Group Process

organizationThe word ‘facilitation’ comes from the Latin word ‘facilis’, or “to make easy”. While a professional facilitator makes process work look easy, guiding groups through structured steps to results created, understood and accepted by all participants is anything but!

During your facilitation of longer meetings and workshops, in addition to facilitating the right methods around a good session design, great group process involves that you manage four important dimensions: Continue reading “Dimensions to Managing Group Process”

Facilitating Complex Sessions

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Seeking to become a more agile and professional facilitator? 

Perhaps you are assisting a group over time to resolve issues, generate new directions, improve team performance or develop innovative solutions. What can you expect as you scope out and design more complex facilitated sessions?

MORE COMPLEXITY:  Usually a greater diversity of perspectives and views must be considered, balanced and reconciled, before it is possible to generate consensus and commitment. You’ll need to design processes to build mutual understanding between partial views.

HIGHER STAKES: The outcomes of such meetings matter to the organization’s goals. Success is important, and so is the downside of not succeeding. Make sure your pre-session scoping is rigorous and involves more than just your client.

DESIGN MATTERS: Your facilitation must rely on a thoughtful process to help the group achieve desired outcomes. It is essential for you to have the right process framework to follow, and to know where you are in the process. There is a sequence to what questions must be answered before other work can be tackled.  Professional facilitators invest as much as 2-4 hours in design work for every hour of facilitated group process.

LONGER MEETINGS: As a result of all the above, more time is needed to achieve desired outcomes, extending to several days, and sometimes weeks and months.  Having an expanded facilitation toolkit is essential to your nimbleness and ability to keep sessions productive, and participants engaged and energized.

Happy Successful People

mfi-image-2Nine things happy and successful people ignore:

  1. The mind’s endless stream of doubts. Believe in yourself and your capacity to succeed.
  2. Unfounded fears that stop you from taking risks outside your comfort zone. Stay on goal. Dare to go for it!
  3. Things you can’t control. Remember what works as you focus on the solution. Then do your best.
  4. How long it takes to make a change. Don’t expect instant gratification and results. Celebrate any small steps you take forward.
  5. Distracting ‘busywork’. Say “no” to anything not moving you towards your highest priorities. The world needs your unique gifts.
  6. The pain of hard work and growth. Strength is the result of learning new things and overcoming challenges.
  7. Daily frustrations. A bad day is just that; it too will pass. Remain positive. Find even the slightest funny angle and laugh at it!
  8. What happened in the past; it’s history. Look ahead; do your best. Forgive and then move on.
  9. Others’ judgments of you – say more about them. Strive to always be authentically yourself.

Call to Action: Read this inspiring book on the Little Things That Happy and Successful People Do Differently.

Stop Wasting Time and $

wasted-time Wasted-money

Transform Your Meetings: From “Boring” to “Awesome!”

There is one simple proven way to stop wasting organizational time and resources: learn how to transform boring, aimless meetings into productive ones through more confident and skillful group facilitation.

Every day, companies and organizations waste hard-earned revenue and precious resources every time employees attend an unproductive meeting.

Wasted time! In one survey of more than 500 businesses, employees said they spend more than one quarter of their work week in meetings and up to five hours of that meeting time they consider a total waste.

Extrapolate this for a company with 100 employees and you’ve got at least 500 wasted hours every week or 26,000 unproductive hours every year!

What about the cost? Continue reading “Stop Wasting Time and $”