Seven Tips for Better Participation in Meetings
April 28, 2011 3 Comments
A meeting can be led (or misled) from any chair in the room. Here’s how to ensure that you add value during your next meeting.
- If it is your meeting, ask a facilitator to lead the group through major solution finding activities. Having a facilitator frees you to participate and gives responsibility for keeping order to a neutral person.
- Take a moment to organize your thoughts before speaking. Then express your idea simply, logically, and concisely. People are more receptive to ideas they understand. Long, complex explanations work against you.
- Respect others. Different views force us to develop new ideas and more ideas equates to higher quality decisions.
- Use positive comments in the meeting. Negative comments create defensive reactions that distract from your goals.
- Use structured activities. Methodological tools ensure equitable participation and systematic progress toward results.
- Focus on one issue at a time. Avoid stories, jokes, and unrelated issues. These waste time, distract focus, and mislead others. Save the fun for lunchtime or social occasions where it will be appreciated.
- Rescue wayward meetings by challenging seemingly unrelated comments. Ask, “Explain how that contributes to the issue about _______?”
Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills
The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).
Do not forget to order Change or Die if you’re working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and detailed tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.
- How to Communicate Meeting and Workshop Results (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- Benefits of Facilitative Leadership (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- How to Facilitate Simple Prioritization (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- How to Facilitate Alignment (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- How To Honor and Recognize Diversity, Ensuring Meeting and Workshop Inclusiveness (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- Responsibility Matrix, Agenda Design, and Parking Lot Management (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- Let’s Be Thankful – Where We Are Winning (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- Five Reasons to Hold a Facilitated Session (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)
- Five Problems with Meetings and What To Do About Them (facilitativeleadership.wordpress.com)