Stop being a Dictator

Do you run your meetings with an iron fist? Are you the one in charge telling everyone what their schedule is and what they need to be doing? If so, you are not getting the most out of your team. When you learn how to facilitate meetings instead of dominate them, you start to learn from […]

Written by Touchplan | August 11, 2016

Do you run your meetings with an iron fist? Are you the one in charge telling everyone what their schedule is and what they need to be doing? If so, you are not getting the most out of your team. When you learn how to facilitate meetings instead of dominate them, you start to learn from the experts on your team. What does it take to facilitate an effective conversation and not dominate the discussion?
Here are a few things that excellent facilitators do before meetings to make the most out of their time.
 
    1. Prepare-Go over the specs of the project. Familiarize yourself with the scope of work and objectives. Preparing ahead will help you keep the big picture in focus. You will be in a better position to guide the group in the task at hand.
    2. State Objectives-Begin the meeting with a clear explanation of the goal for the meeting. Whether it is a planning meeting, a strategy session, or a 6 week look ahead meeting it is important to get everyone on the same page with the goals for the meeting.
    3. Engage the Group-Pay attention to the group dynamic. Are there people talking over others? Is someone not speaking up? Is no one talking? Use your role to start and maintain the conversation. Increase interaction between group members to achieve the full benefits of the collaborative process. Balance the voices being heard and keep people talking.
    4. Maintain Focus-Keep the conversation focused on the task at hand. Large planning sessions can easily devolve into side conversations. If focus is waning in the group, take the chance to reiterate the objectives and put people back on task.
    5. Manage Dysfunction-As a facilitator you will run into unproductive behavior. You will need to address group dysfunction on a case by case basis. You can redirect attention with appropriate humor, or call a break if you are losing the room. Do these things before dysfunction zaps all the momentum out of your meeting.
    6. Resolve Disagreement-Nip fights in the bud. It does not take much for minor disagreements to spiral out of control. If you see a problem say something.

Try this in your next weekly meeting and see what happens. 

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