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The Fundamentals of Effective Meeting and Facilitation Skills

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1 The Fundamentals of Effective Meeting and Facilitation Skills
CAP 108: The Fundamentals of Effective Meeting and Facilitation Skills

2 Learning Objectives Upon completion of this workshop you will be able to: Design, plan and prepare for effective meetings Explain the role of the facilitator before and during a meeting Differentiate between when to facilitate and when to lead during meetings Handle the dynamics of challenging group situations Effectively direct the energies and talents of a group to achieve the objectives and/ or outcomes defined for the meeting Facilitate a group from ideas to actions

3 Today’s Agenda Welcome & Introduction
The Key Components to Effective Meetings Before the Meeting - Planning The Role of the Facilitator Group Dynamics Getting the Most from Meeting Participants Practice .. Practice .. Practice Wrap up and evaluations

4 Welcome & Warm Up Introduce Yourself
Complete the following statements … “I hate meetings that / when …….. “ “Meetings are great when they …. “ “My biggest challenge with meetings is …. “

5 Provide an example of an icebreaker you have used or experienced
ICE BREAKERS The importance of icebreakers … Help to clarify group members’ expectations & knowledge Introduce participants to working within a group Provide space to build interpersonal relationships Relieve anxiety Provide facilitator with insights as to the group’s mood, motivation, and unique focus Provide an example of an icebreaker you have used or experienced

6 ESTABLISHING GROUND RULES
Enable the facilitator and the participants to establish principles for how they will work together. Create structure / contract amongst the participants to manage conversation and interaction Tool to aid the facilitator when dealing with difficult participants

7 SAMPLE GROUND RULES Participate, speak up and share information
Don’t monopolize time .. Give everyone a chance to speak Turn off cell phones and pagers Respect everyone’s ideas .. you don’t have to agree but be positive and constructive when disagreeing Don’t carry on ‘side bar’ conversations What is said in the room .. Stays in the room Be open to new ideas and ways of thinking One conversation at a time Stay on time for breaks and lunch Have fun !

8 OUR GROUND RULES FOR TODAY …..
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

9 Design, Plan and Prepare for Effective Meetings
Key to Success .. Design, Plan and Prepare for Effective Meetings

10 Effective Meeting Components
(Goals & Objectives) Process (Topics) Content People Planning

11 Importance of Meeting ‘Objectives’
Ensures that everyone knows why they are there Enables participants to prepare appropriately Helps the facilitator to design the meeting to ensure objectives are achieved Helps the facilitator keep the participants on track and focused during the meeting

12 Purpose of the Agenda A road map for how the objectives will be achieved Keeps the meeting focused on key topics Builds commitment to the task when meeting participants contribute to an agenda and agree to it Gives the facilitator a mandate to intervene when the discussion loses focus

13 The Various Factors to Consider when Planning for a Meeting
Why are we meeting? What do I want to achieve? Content, sequence, timing Who Needs to be there? How can each person contribute to this meeting? What materials are needed? Should they be sent in advance? When? How should they be sent? Purpose for the meeting Objectives Structure / Flow Participants Roles & responsibilities Materials / Handouts

14 The Various Factors to Consider when Planning for a Meeting Cont’d …
March break ? Size of room, layout Where Time of day Accessibility (public transit) Parking Projects Flip charts, markers Refreshments Schedule Facilities Logistics OTHER IDEAS ???

15 Learning Activity 1- Planning for a Meeting
In small groups, work on the scenarios on Pg. 11 of Workbook 2. Consider the objectives, purpose, agenda, invitees, roles, decision-making strategy, the room, food, preparation, follow-up, additional stakeholders… The details are less important in this exercise than the thinking that goes into them. If you adjust one thing, how does it affect the others? Each group will present their results

16 Learning Activity 1- Planning for a Meeting
Labour negotiations – Union and management representatives will be meeting to renegotiate the contract that is set to expire. What would be the implications of having a facilitator run the meetings? How would the parties decide on a facilitator? What would the scope of authority be for the facilitator? How would this be different than a mediator? How would the meetings differ if the parties are on good terms versus tense terms? In a potential strike situation? Where would the meetings be held, and what would be required of the facilities? A staff person has just been fired or suspended – Should there be a meeting? If so, what roles would a leader and/or facilitator play in a team or all-staff meeting? What would the purpose of the meeting be, and how would it be achieved? Who should be invited? How would the room be arranged? How would the considerations vary if the person was fired for insubordination, laziness or failure to fulfill duties, discriminatory or other inappropriate behaviour with colleagues or clients? What if the organization has under 12 staff versus over 50? What if the person who left was a volunteer instead of an employee? Multiple agencies are partnering on a Trillium Foundation application and they have not worked together closely on other projects – Who should attend the meetings? Should there be a facilitator or a leader to run the meeting? How would the person(s) be selected? What decision-making approach will you use and how will it be determined? Who would establish the purpose, the agenda, run the meeting, conduct the follow up? What are the considerations for the organization that will host the meeting? How will expenses be handled?

17 THE ART & SKILL OF EFFECTIVE FACILITATION

18 WHAT IS ‘FACILITATION’?
Facilitation is broadly used to describe any activity which makes tasks for others easy. For example: In business ‘facilitation’ is used to ensure the designing and running of successful meetings.

19 The Role of the Facilitator
Create an environment for a group of individuals to come together and achieve its goals & outcomes Balances between achieving ‘task’, managing the ‘process’ and ‘engaging’ the participants Tends to listen Provides structure Use processes, tools & techniques that build group dynamics Keep the group on track Help resolve conflict Draws out participation from everyone Ensures the goals and objectives are met

20 The Role of a Chairperson
Tends to be a senior person in the organization Heavily involved in the ‘business aspect’ of the meeting Often has a stake in the outcome of the meeting Controls the agenda, timing, flow during the meeting Tends to speak a lot Keeps the meeting moving ‘Facilitates’ the process * * Definite overlap between a facilitator and chair

21 Some Characteristics of a Successful Facilitator
Confident Flexible Objective Patient Excellent listener Ability to think on their feet Ability to confront issues Adapts to the group dynamics Respectful OTHER IDEAS ??? Flexible ego Intuitive Responsive Articulate Ability to summarize key points in a clear and concise manner Ability to ‘read’ a group and individuals Leads, directs and keeps moving Sense of humour

22 The Value of Facilitated Meetings
Provides the opportunity to create an environment where the full contribution of each and every member of the group is allowed, encouraged and supported Provides the opportunity to tap into the hidden potential of all employees or group members Enables the organization to create an atmosphere where: People are encouraged to participate actively and to think creatively. People are involved in problem solving and decision making. People see themselves as partners and have a strong sense of responsibility and commitment to the process Trust and integrity is built and nurtured through an open and caring flow of information.

23 Learning Activity 2 – Reflection Can I Facilitate
Learning Activity 2 – Reflection Can I Facilitate ? … Take a moment to answer these questions for yourself Are you willing to listen to others without judgment or preconceived notions about what they should or shouldn't say or do? Do you show respect for the opinions of others even when they disagree with you? Can you release the need to have complete control of a conversation or other situations? Are you comfortable dealing with conflict? Are you comfortable speaking in public? Are you able to laugh at yourself? Can you think on your feet? Do you believe that groups working together are smarter than individuals working alone? Can you accept feedback from others about yourself?

24 Other Roles for Meeting Participants
Expert / Resource Minute / Notetaker Timekeeper Gatekeeper Co-facilitator

25 GROUP DYNAMICS

26 Group Dynamics Group dynamics refers to the understanding of the behaviour of people in groups that are trying to solve a problem or make a decision. A skilled facilitator is able to assist a group in accomplishing its goals & objectives by determining how well the group is functioning as a problem-solving or decision-making entity and intervening appropriately, to alter the group's operating behaviour.

27 Process Intervention: Dealing with Difficult Behaviours
An intervention is an interruption by the facilitator of the meeting and conversation to refocus participants and and/or rebalance group interaction. The objective of an intervention to keep the process on track and moving forward making the best use of time and resources. As a facilitator you want to balance participation with meeting results.

28 Discussion --- Suggested Interventions for:
Side bar conversations Staying on time Never ending discussions Personal attacks Person who always sees the glass as ‘half empty’ Participants coming back late from breaks / lunch Participants with personal agendas Participants that are very quiet Individuals that ‘over contribute’

29 Learning Activity 3A Anytown Neighborhood Services Agency (ANSA) is holding a planning meeting to submit a proposal for a new program to the provincial government, who is their major funding partner. Below are the participants and their role: Meeting Facilitator ANSA’s Executive Director Director of Programs Program Co-ordinator Administrative Assistant Working on your own: Imagine you will be the facilitator of the meeting Complete the Planning Form found in your Participant Workbook. (Time: 10 minutes)

30 Learning Activity 3B Working in a small group: (Time: 15 minutes)
Discuss each of your answers with your team. In preparation for the meeting, collectively as a group, agree upon the following items: Meeting Objectives Resources Ice Breaker / Opener Discussion Questions Closing / Summary Meeting Evaluation Method

31 Learning Activity 3C Working in your same small group:
Appoint / nominate / volunteer a facilitator Conduct the meeting (Time: 30 minutes)

32 DEBRIEF of Learning Activity 3C
What were your meeting objectives? What worked well? What challenges did the ‘facilitator’ experience? What changes would you make? Were the meeting objectives met?

33 Learning Activity 3D Working in your same small group: (Time: 30 minutes) Appoint / nominate / volunteer a different facilitator Meeting participants select a ‘behaviour’ from the envelope given to your group. Assume the “persona” you selected for the roleplay Conduct the meeting Facilitators – apply the skills you’ve learned today to manage the group dynamics & process

34 DEBRIEF of Learning Activity 3D
What worked well? As facilitators, what challenges did you experience? As participants, what new challenges did you experience? What would you do differently as a: facilitator? participant? Did any of the participants help with the group process and intervene? How? What happened?

35 Get More Out Of Meetings!
Have a purpose Create content Prepare Define roles and responsibilities Create processes Keep the meeting focused and moving Ensure participation and team building Intervene when necessary with sensitivity and diplomacy Pay attention to the group dynamics Act as a resource

36 Facilitators - Fine Tune Your Skills
Focus: Separate yourself as the facilitator from the discussion Keep the issue clear and manageable Help participants ‘stick to the issue’. Help speakers avoid repeating other people’s points Keep the meeting moving

37 Facilitators - Fine Tune Your Skills
Positive Attitudes: Set the tone upfront Keep discussions from getting too heated Give positive feedback Discourage criticism Refer to points and ideas by title not the person who presented them Make the space comfortable. Arrive early!

38 Facilitators - Fine Tune Your Skills
Participation: Recognize speakers and get everyone involved Encourage everyone to speak their mind Encourage creativity

39 Facilitators - Fine Tune Your Skills
Pulling it All Together! Sum up what has been said / agreed upon Use resources to list / show points for all to review Know if / when a decision cannot be made, why and what is needed to proceed Make sure everyone understands the decision when one is made

40 Learning Objectives Having completed this workshop you should now be able to: Design, plan and prepare for effective meetings Explain the role of the facilitator before and during a meeting Differentiate between when to facilitate and when to lead during meetings Handle the dynamics of challenging group situations Effectively direct the energies and talents of a group to achieve the defined objectives and/ or outcomes defined for the meeting Facilitate a group from ideas to actions

41 The Fundamentals of Effective Meeting and Facilitation Skills
CAP 108: The Fundamentals of Effective Meeting and Facilitation Skills


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