Better Meeting Facilitation

January 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

Ideas come from experience of all meetings, both formal and informal – not specifically related to experience of the GA.

First group went through what makes a good meeting, then what makes good facilitation.

These ideas were written on cards, and we shared them around, and shared reading other’s ideas.

We then grouped the ideas and discussed where things fit best, it was a good process to see commonality.

The reading/grouping exercise was an exercise in meeting dynamics itself – so we also did some practiced based learning.

Meetings

Positive characteristics or themes of a good meeting

Ideas / goals

Common ideas/goals of movement and/or process

Big ideas are important and don’t sweat the small stuff

Understanding / awareness

Active awareness of self and others (vibe checking)
Actively seek to understand and find common goals
Respect of others and empathy and encouragement of our difference

Participation / discussion

Organic discussion develops or is encouraged
There are visuals for people who learn/participate in different ways
Solutions are discussed more than problems
Impassioned debate on issues without personal attacks

Organisation / preparation

Facilitation has good practice and doesn’t impose on others
Process / structure has flexibility
Prioritise agenda items not always on urgency
Plans for next meeting are set
People come prepared

Facilitation

Positive characteristics or themes of a good facilitation

Neutrality

Collectively tries to facilitate discussion with differing political views/ideologies
Inclusive rather than Exclusive
Not exuding authority
Measured, ethical and considered team

Preparation

Audio / Visual preparation (loudspeaker / whiteboards / flyer pass arounds)
Facilitators understand and are across the agenda items/issues
Understand the facilitation process

Inclusive

Understanding and patient
Assertive but kind
Invites or encourages other aspects or insights to an issue

Mood/vibe/planning

Comfort – awareness of environment including temperature/seating etc
Timing – awareness of facilitation techniques to time meeting

Guidance

Being able to assess a breakdown in communication and/or process and address them without need for group discussion
Facilitation team is assertive and respectful
Can speak through rather than to the agenda (can adapt to organic discussion of an agenda item, not too rigid)
Firmness
Humility

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