If you’re reading this, then you can most likely relate to being the facilitator of a meeting that didn’t quite go as planned. Maybe it was just the weather, or the fact that you aren’t just great at leading and driving a conversation with more than two or three people.
I’ve been there and I can assure you two things:
- There’s no meeting that doesn’t go as planned.
- Terrible meetings are mostly made up of terrible plans.
No worries. After reading this, you’ll never again be burdened with unproductive sessions, and with every meeting you host using the tips and techniques we’ll be sharing, you’ll be able to hone your facilitation skills, and build your confidence in the shadows, while you show up and deliver exceptionally, every single time.
So, what are the rules that make up this “technique”? The first thing you need to know is that every meeting starts before it…and ends after it. Let’s break that down quickly. Here are the things to do:
BEFORE THE MEETING
- Always have an agenda
- Notify all the team members about the agenda beforehand.
- Remind them to come on time.
DURING THE MEETING
- Set the mood for your meeting. (Jokes, props, spare doughnuts)
- Structure your meetings. Keep them short, keep them light, and keep them fun. Also, make sure the structure is fluid and flexible.
- Use a whiteboard where possible to clarify and crystalize ideas.
- Collect a list of actionable to-dos from team members.
- End with check-ins for questions, concerns, and updates
AFTER THE MEETING
- Publish a clear action list after every meeting.
- Review the meeting notes.
As you can see, it’s quite straightforward once you have a roadmap that works 😉. This has worked for us at Simpletin Consulting and has pretty much become a standard in our everyday life-at-the-office, helping us facilitate multiple projects, even concurrently.
Below are some bonus tips for you because we want you to be better at meetings.
- Encourage healthy discussions and brainstorming by asking questions that are open ended and positive. Using ‘how’ instead of ‘why’ makes people feel more confident sharing their ideas with you.
- Always take notes. Here’s why:
- To write action points down after the meeting
- To remind everyone what’s been talked about during the meeting.
- To show everyone who wasn’t there what was discussed.
- It’s best and more effective to have meetings before work starts for the day, before everyone becomes brain-cluttered.