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“If facilitated effectively, groups can often make better decisions in meetings than any one person working on their own. ” To move forward, backward or.

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Presentation on theme: "“If facilitated effectively, groups can often make better decisions in meetings than any one person working on their own. ” To move forward, backward or."— Presentation transcript:

1 “If facilitated effectively, groups can often make better decisions in meetings than any one person working on their own. ” To move forward, backward or to a Contents page, move your cursor over the arrows in the bottom left corner of each page and make a selection. You can also use your space bar (forward); or your Page Up/Page Dn keys (backward/forward). Tips & Techniques for PRODUCTIVE MEETING TOOLS

2 Orientation Using the Tools Introducing the Tools Table of Contents Click on a large colored bullet to go to that section.

3 Orientation This material was developed to provide you with invaluable tools for your future team meetings. By learning to work with these tools, you will enable your groups to increase productivity, work collaboratively, and experience less frustration. Return to main Table of Contents Different Tools for Different Purposes Three Main Purposes Click on a large colored bullet to go to that section.

4 Use questions Listen actively Respond appropriately Orientation Different Tools for Different Purposes Have you used facilitation tools in your meetings to help organize or evaluate information? What tools have you used? Different tools are used for different purposes. In this course, we will look at nine different tools – what you can use them for; under what circumstances; how to use them; and, in some situations, how to modify them for different purposes. We selected these nine tools as they cover a range of purposes and are relatively easy to use. Familiarize yourself with these tools and experiment with them. Practice is the only way to achieve a high level of comfort.

5 Three Main Purposes As the meeting leader, you will use tools for three main purposes: 1.to gather information 2.to organize information 3.to evaluate the information and select the best option Orientation

6 Introducing the Tools In this section, you will be introduced to nine facilitation tools, what they are used for and what each tool will do. Return to main Table of Contents The Tools & Common Uses What Each Tool will Do Click on a large colored bullet to go to that section.

7 The Tools & Common Uses Introducing the Tools The ToolUsed for… 1. Brainstorming & Variations generating ideas encouraging participation encouraging creativity 2. Weighed Voting establishing priorities among the group 3. Decision Matrix evaluating possible solutions against predetermined criteria 4. Impact/Effort Grid gaining clarity about where to direct energy and resources Let’s look at the chart below. You will find nine tools and their most common uses. You will also see that some of these tools can be used for more than one purpose.

8 Introducing the Tools The ToolUsed for… 5. Ranking Matrix clarifying areas of agreement and disagreement 6. Force Field Analysis categorizing ‘helping’ and ‘hindering’ forces in relation to a goal 7. Opening the Field opening up a broad discussion on major issues 8. Designing the Future helping develop a vision for a desired future state setting goals developing action plans 9. Structured Problem Solving exploring and analyzing large scale problems You will often need more than one tool to reach your objective. You may choose one tool to generate information, another to organize it and yet another to evaluate and choose a coarse of action. So let’s now look at what the tools do.

9 What Each Tool will Do Introducing the Tools The Tool GatherOrganizeEvaluate & Select 1. Brainstorming & Variations X 2. Weighted Voting X 3. Decision Matrix XX 4. Impact/Effort Grid XX 5. Ranking Matrix XX 6. Force Field Analysis XXX 7. Opening the Field X 8. Designing the Future X 9. Structured Problem Solving XXX By understanding what each tool will do (capabilities & limitations), you can easily decide which tool will best help you achieve your goal.

10 Using the Tools In this section, you will explore the nine facilitation tools in more detail. You will look at the advantages and disadvantages of each tool; and you will learn how to use each tool in your meetings. Return to main Table of Contents Brainstorming Weighted Voting Decision Matrix Impact/Effort Grid Ranking Matrix Force Field Analysis Opening the Field Designing the Future Structured Problem Solving Click on a large colored bullet to go to that section.

11 Using the Tools What it isAdvantagesDisadvantages It is a structured activity that helps groups quickly generate creative ideas about a topic, issue, situation, problem or opportunity. The group is encouraged to focus on quantity of ideas rather than quality. helps kick-start discussion encourages innovative thinking encourages participation by all can be fun and energizing can be a disorganized free-for-all is overused results in counterproductive activity if rules not followed Irritates/demotivates a tired group Now that you know more about brainstorming, let’s look at how to use it. Brainstorming

12 How to use Brainstorming: Step #1 Announce a brainstorming session and focus the group on the topic. Step #2 Write a clear goal on a flipchart. Step #3 Explain the “rules of brainstorming”. Write them on a flipchart or give as a handout. Rules for Brainstorming welcome all ideas, no matter how wild do not evaluate ideas at this time build on the ideas of others if you wish aim for quantity not quality Using the Tools

13 Step #4 Record the ideas on a flipchart as they are offered. Don’t discuss or elaborate. If the group is large, use two flipcharts and two recorders. Tolerate periods of silence while people are thinking. Step #5 When ideas have dried up, discuss each idea so that it is fully understood. Combine ideas that are identical. Step #6 Use voting or prioritizing tool to decide which ideas to develop or act upon. Using the Tools

14 What it isAdvantagesDisadvantages It is a decision-making tool that enables a group to sort through a list of ideas to identify priorities. Use this tool when a group wants to explore a list of items or options to determine the level of support and to identify which ones should be dealt with or built upon immediately. establishes a clear set of priorities is democratic and participative allows individuals to quickly identify what the group most values and what is most important gives members a brief time to think before voting can be fun and energizing when the group is very large, can take a significant amount of time when individuals are not clear and in agreement about the criteria for the decision which guides the vote, people may vote at cross purposes to one another Now let’s look at how to use weighted voting. Weighted Voting Using the Tools

15 How to use Weighted Voting: Step #1 Make sure individuals are clear about how each option would meet the goal and identify the criteria that will guide the decision. For example, the decision could be made according to the greatest cost saving or the easiest items to complete. Step #2 Give each person a specific number of colored peel-off dots. Use slightly fewer dots than half the items/options to be decided. Alternatively, you may give each person a specific number of points to distribute among the items/options. Usually, you give each person a number of points equal to twice the amount of items/options. Step #3 Ask meeting members to distribute their dots or points for their top choices. Using the Tools

16 Decide if you will impose any voting guidelines on the group. For example, you may let individuals use more than one dot per choice or use no more than half their votes on any one item. Step #4 When everyone is finished voting, count the dots/points to determine the group’s priorities. Using the Tools

17 What it isAdvantagesDisadvantages It helps groups evaluate multiple possible solutions against a predetermined set of criteria. It can help the group narrow down a wide range of choices. speeds up decision making reduces impact of preconceived ideas or entrenched positions can cause dissension if all members are not involved in establishing the criteria can cause the group to focus too rigidly on hard criteria and ignore gut feelings or intuition Now that you know more about the decision matrix, let’s look at how to use it. Decision Matrix Using the Tools

18 How to use a Decision Matrix: Step #1 Use brainstorming to develop the list of criteria. Then help the group divide the criteria into two categories: “Must Have” and “Nice-to-Have”. Step #2 Make sure that the group agrees that any choice which does not meet the “Must Have” criteria will be eliminated. Step #3 (Optional) Ask the group to rank or weigh the “Nice-to-Have” criteria. This step can be helpful later if the group has to choose between two quite similar options. Step #4 Draw a line down the middle of a flipchart. List the “Must Have” and the “Nice-to- Have” criteria down the left hand side; list the choices across the top. Using the Tools

19 Step #5 Ask the group to rate each alternative against the “Must Have” criteria first. This step may be sufficient to reach a decision. Step #6 If two or more choices survive the “Must Have” criteria, move on and help the group rate the choices against the “Nice-to-Have” criteria. If a decision can still not be made, help the group decide what information they might need to reach a decision. Be sure that the group has a definite action plan for obtaining additional information. Using the Tools

20 Example: Using the Tools

21 What it isAdvantagesDisadvantages It is an easy-to-use tool for helping groups reach clarity about action plans. It is especially useful when a group has to choose among a large number of possible actions; or when individual group members simply cannot agree on what to do first. is quick and easy to use requires little preparation can be customized easily problematic if some group members become bogged down in defining or quantifying subjective terms such as “minor improvement” or “difficult” Now, let’s look at how to use an impact/effort grid. Impact/Effort Grid Using the Tools

22 How to use an Impact/Effort Grid: Step #1 Draw the grid on a flipchart. Step #2 Post all the action ideas on a separate flipchart. Step #3 Discuss each action idea one by one and ask the group to place it in the appropriate box. All possible actions then become categorized as: The group can then more easily decide to discard some ideas and focus time, energy and resources where they will produce best results. 1.Easy to do and will yield major improvement. 2.Easy to do but will yield only minor improvement. 3.Difficult to do but will yield major improvement. 4.Difficult to do and will yield only minor improvement. Using the Tools

23 Example: Using the Tools

24 What it isAdvantagesDisadvantages It is a simple matrix that helps a group determine how close they are to, or how far they are from, reaching agreement. Use this tool when team members are required to rank several variables in order of importance, preference or priority. presents the status of the decision-making process visually helps group stay positive by focusing on areas of agreement or near agreement frees the group up to have a healthy debate on areas of disagreement none Now, let’s look at how to use a ranking matrix. Ranking Matrix Using the Tools

25 How to use a Ranking Matrix: Step #1 Draw the grid on a flipchart with issues down the left hand side and team members names across the top. Step #2 Ask team members to give you their ranking or, if the group needs energy, invite members to come up to the flipchart and list their own ranking. Step #3 Use a colored marker to identify areas near agreement. Step #4 Ask people who are almost in agreement with their colleagues if they can buy into the most popular decision. Continue to facilitate discussion. Using the Tools

26 Example: Using the Tools

27 What it isAdvantagesDisadvantages It helps groups who are working towards a specific goal. It is a way of categorizing those forces* that are helpful and enabling and those that are opposing or obstructing. *Defined as: resources, skills, attitudes, external factors (e.g. economy, market) easy and quick to use can be used with small or large group puts obstacles in perspective in low morale situations, groups may become overly focused on the hindering forces Now that you know more about a force field analysis, let’s look at how to use it. Force Field Analysis Using the Tools

28 How to use a Force Field Analysis: Step #1 Help the group state its goals clearly. Step #2 Draw a line down the middle of a flipchart or use two flipcharts. Label one side “Helping Forces (+)” and the other “Hindering Forces (-)”. Step #3 Use brainstorming to generate a list of the helping forces; then, repeat to generate a list of hindering forces. Alternatively, you can assign this step as pre-work for the meeting so that people have time to think through the issues. Step #4 Give the group an opportunity to ask questions about the items on the chart. Add any additional ideas that come up. Using the Tools

29 Step #5 Tell the group that there are three kinds of force: a) forces that the group cannot control (e.g. world economy, natural disasters); b) forces that the group cannot completely control, but can influence (budget, staffing levels); c) forces that the group can control (e.g. attitudes, internal procedures). Help them identify the “c” category, forces that the group can control, and decide which helping forces they should try to strengthen and which hindering forces they should try to weaken. Step #6 (Optional) You may choose to split the group into sub-groups to work on the “c” category items and to come up with action ideas/plans. Step #7 Help the group create action plans for all “c” items and any “b” items (forces that the group cannot completely control) they deem to be priorities. You may wish to use an Impact/Effort Grid to help the group decide where best to direct their energy. Using the Tools

30 Example: Using the Tools

31 What it isAdvantagesDisadvantages Also known as sequential questioning, it is a tool used to open up discussion and uncovers people’s assumptions, opinions and biases at the beginning of a meeting. To work well, the facilitator must carefully think through the issues and craft a series of macro-level lead questions that will challenge the group both intellectually and emotionally. generates early and vigorous discussion gets the issues out on the table highlights varying opinions among group members creates energy and healthy discussion with the status quo can become a rabble if not well facilitated can give rise to intra- group conflict Now, let’s look at how to use it. Opening the Field Using the Tools

32 How to use Opening the Field: Step #1 Design 3-10 questions to stimulate macro-level discussion about the issue. Step #2 Write each question at the top of a new piece of flipchart paper. Reveal each question one at a time, facilitate a discussion and record the responses. Allocate a specific time, say 10 minutes, to each question. As an option, you can kick off the discussion of each question with an “Agree/Disagree” poll. Then invite one member form each camp to speak in turn. Step #3 Summarize the discussion after each question and again at the end of the overall discussion. Using the Tools

33 Example: Using the Tools At the beginning of a meeting to discuss an organization’s strategy for e-learning, a facilitator might craft the following statements to open the field: By 20xx, over 80% of all training will be delivered by methods other than classroom-based, instructor-led workshops. People can learn communication skills as effectively through web-based training as through classroom-based training. We know that 80% of people who take on-line training do not complete their programs. We should ignore that fact and do it anyway.

34 What it isAdvantagesDisadvantages It is a powerful tool for helping a group set goals. Centered on one key question: “If we were to meet again in two years from now [select your own time frame], what would have to have happened for us to feel successful?” helps members clarify their thinking challenges the status quo creates energy encourages creative thinking no real disadvantages, however, it may not work if your team is highly dysfunctional, is experiencing low morale or is not committed to a future vision Now that you know more about designing the future, let’s look at how to use it. Designing the Future Using the Tools

35 How to use Designing the Future: Step #1 Post the main question on a flipchart or provide a handout. (When you ask the main question, you may wish to prompt the group to think about specific aspects of your business such as market share, revenue, profitability, risk management or new products. In essence, you are prompting people to look out to the future and to paint a detailed picture of what it will look like.) Step #2 Give each person 5-10 minutes to jot down his or her ideas. Ask the group to stay silent. (Alternatively, you could assign this task as pre-work or homework.) Step #3 Ask people to find a partner. Give them five minutes to share their vision with their partners. Using the Tools

36 Step #4 Ask people to find a different partner and repeat the process outlined in Step #3. Encourage people to borrow any new ideas they pick up along the way to add to their own vision. Step #5 Bring the group back together and facilitate a discussion to identify any overall themes that emerged during the partner-sharing exercise. Step #6 After a general sharing, take each item one at a time and ask individuals to read out their vision for that item. Record the responses; then cluster or rank them. Using the Tools

37 What it isAdvantagesDisadvantages It is a disciplined approach that groups can use to dissect and solve problems. stops the group from jumping to premature solutions holds people accountable for action commitments invaluable for constantly improving processes requires a strong facilitator with well- honed skills can lead to conflict if group is tired or demoralized Now, let’s look at how to use structured problem solving. Structured Problem Solving Using the Tools

38 How to use Structured Problem Solving: Step #1 Help the group state and define the problem clearly. Do not proceed unless the group agrees completely on the problem statement. Step #2 State the desired outcome or goal (i.e. What would things look like if the problem were solved?) Step #3 List the consequences of the problem and the impact if the problem continues. Step #4 List the causes of the problem. Using the Tools

39 Step #5 Use Brainstorming to identify potential solutions. To sharpen the group’s thinking, you may want to use constructs such as: “If this were your company...”; “If you were going to invest your own money...”; If money were no object...”. Step #6 Use an Impact/Effort Grid to evaluate potential solutions. Step #7 Develop an Action Grid showing who will do what by when. Using the Tools

40 Now, it’s your turn. Go back to the nine facilitation tools and decide which tools will help you reach the objective in your next meeting. You may choose one tool to generate information, another to organize it and yet another to evaluate and choose a coarse of action. Exercise Using the Tools Familiarize yourself with these tools and experiment with them. Practice is key to achieving a high level of comfort.

41 By applying the tips and techniques you have learned in this course, you will be well on your way to: Enabling your groups to increase productivity, work collaboratively, and experience less frustration. Improving the way you plan and prepare for a productive meeting. “If facilitated effectively, groups can often make better decisions in meetings than any one person working on their own. ”


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