Facilitating your Meetings

Feel like you’re wasting your time in inefficient meetings? At the end of this training, you will be able to organize and lead your meetings in a participatory and focused way, taking into account all the ingredients for success. You will know when to organize a meeting and what are the steps involved in preparing and running it. You will know the different meeting formats: from stand-up meetings to service meetings. You will master the skills required to be a good meeting facilitator, effective no matter who the participants are. In short, you will know how to make the most of collective intelligence, right up to facilitating creative meetings.

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Why Hold a Meeting

According to a study carried out by Perfony, an executive spends 16 years, on average, in meetings over the course of his/her career. Is this useless, lost, wasted time?
We will be exploring the question in 3 parts: the excess of meetings, the excessive cost of meetings, and why we waste so much time on them.

When well prepared, well organized and well led, meetings are not only useful, but also necessary and an extraordinary way to provide cohesion, benefit from group intelligence and improve performance.
In this video we will decipher the objectives and benefits of meetings. We will also see the harmful tendency of some managers to “forget” or “postpone” important individual or collective meetings.

How do meetings foster group intelligence and serve performance?
In 4 ways, which I will demonstrate: together we are more intelligent, we’re more creative, we solve problems better and we feel more mobilized to take action.

According to a survey conducted in 2017, 67% of respondents said they would like to work together more.
Working in groups is the most efficient in terms of performance and results. What about in terms of the individual development of our collaborators? Does working together in a meeting help people grow? Yes. First because it helps them broaden their vision; next, it boosts motivation; and finally, it sensitizes them to working together on a daily basis.

Preparing your Meeting

What is the best way to prepare your meeting? The first step is defining what’s at stake – what needs to result from this meeting? Are you thinking of planning a meeting ? Take a few minutes to think and ask yourself 5 simple questions. What’s the subject to discuss ? What are the objectives linked to the topic and how would you prioritize them ? What are the expected outcomes ? Who will participate ? Is holding a meeting really the most efficient format?

How to best prepare your meeting?
After defining the stakes of the meeting, here are 3 questions to organize the structure, the frame :
What is the overall plan or agenda?
What is the method/ the format to be followed?
And where will you meet, the venue?

Who should I invite to my meeting?
The answer seems simple. And yet… Shall we take a closer look?
Run your invitations through the filters of number, motivation, competence and sponsor, and you may be surprised to end up with a new list.

Organizing the Logistics of a Meeting

Your participants join you to attend your meeting.
What kind of space are they entering?
Let’s study together, 3 ways to co-design the location of your meetings:
a friendly and functional place, a different and adapted organization of the space and finally an innovative space that will make them break out of their usual ways of thinking.

Teleworking, telecommuting, travelling subcontractors .., how to properly organize remote meetings?
Let’s explore the advantages of virtual meetings.
What tools are needed?
How to lead these on-line meetings to make them as efficient (even more effective) than on-site meetings?

Our world is overloaded with visual information. The advertising world has long understood that an attractive visual image incites the viewer to take action, to buy.
How can you use your visuals as action generators?
We will discover together the importance of visual during a meeting, the risks of cognitive overload and the concept of co-construction in a visual mode.

When does the meeting actually begin for the participants ? It begins the moment they receive your invitation.
The success of your meeting is therefore built in advance of the meeting, with the drafting of an invitation including a clear and motivating agenda.
Let’s take a look at how you can choose the right tone, the proper content and stimulate the attendees’ commitment.

Meeting Formats

Are you a manager? The staff meeting is essential. How can you ensure that it doesn’t turn into a de-motivating routine, but rather is a meeting the whole team looks forward to attending?
Meeting with all the staff members is indispensable for sharing information, of course, but it’s also important for the team’s group cohesion and for co-construction.
Here’s an efficient and innovative way to carry out your staff meetings.

What is the point of a 1-hour meeting when the subject can be dealt with in 15 minutes?
In the time of “meeting mania”, it’s a good idea to find meeting formats that are original, quick and productive.
Let’s explore the forms of micro-meetings and focus on the stand-up (that comes from agile project management), how it works and its advantages.

The so-called reflection and decision-making meetings are those that bring about change in the office: from continuous improvement to major reorganization.
We’ll look together at the 4 stages of these transformational meetings, including the qualities you will need in order to lead them.

Regulatory meetings take place in order to solve problems between team members and require the true talents of a mediator.
In this video we will see when this type of meeting should be held, and in what spirit, as well as the 3 steps to lead it successfully.

Have you heard of the acronym SWOT?
A tool for analyzing: Strengths,Weaknesses,Opportunities andThreats
The SWOT is a tool widely used by consultants.
I will describe what the SWOT is and give you an example of an application in meeting facilitation when you need to analyze a product, a service, a strategy, etc.

The GROW model comes to us from the world of coaching. Ideal for making decisions and establishing an action plan together.
I will describe the 4 simple steps for an efficient group work sequence and give you an example of how to use the GROW model (ex: improve the commitment and performance of your department).
GROW: Goal, Reality, Options and Will/Way forward.

Facilitating Creative Meetings

Tomorrow’s true leaders will be those who know how to bring out the best in the group’s intelligence. The meeting will be the place of creation and not only the place of information exchange. The manager then becomes the facilitator of this co-creation. Let’s see the interest for everyone to get out of routine meetings to dare to moderate more creative meetings.

Have you decided to make your meetings quality moments?
Do you want to wake the participants up, get the best out of them, create cohesion, move things forward?
It’s time to push the boundaries and access the tools of the most creative moderators. Post-it notes, kraft paper, flipchart paper,…

Stimulated by the group, freed from judgement, teams show an incredible ability to propose innovative and effective ideas, particularly in problem solving.
The “real” brainstorm follows a very rigorous approach.
We will see in this video how to prepare a brainstorm, how to facilitate the idea production phase, then how to classify and select solutions.

Here are the 7 steps in facilitating a creative meeting: presentation of the subject, definition of the rules, ice-breaker, creativity warm-up, divergent phase of idea production, convergent phase and finally concretization.
In this video we will describe these 7 steps with many examples and we will give keys on the role of the facilitator at each step.

In this video you will be given four examples of creative meetings: world café, barcamps, co-development and Metaplan workshops. These are “different” and extremely productive meetings that bring together from 6 to several hundred people.

The Steps of a Meeting

This video discusses the importance of the few minutes before the start of the meeting. A personalised and friendly welcome can make all the difference. The video also offers various room configurations with their advantages and disadvantages.

The first 5 minutes help to lay a solid foundation for the meeting.
Here’s how to get participants on board in 8 steps. As if it were a matter of getting them on a sailboat for a crossing.
The SOPADERP (Subject, Objective, Participants, Animator, Duration, Energy , Rules and Plan) is a good tool to provide the speaker leadership, and these first 5 minutes a structure while making sure to create conviviality.

What is time boxing? It’ s the guarantee that your meetings will end on time.
The luxury of having shorter meetings because you’ve streamlined time. Remember Parkinson’s law that says that a meeting spreads within the time allotted to it. You scheduled an hour, the meeting will use an hour for something that could have been done in 45 minutes. Time-boxing is about sequencing your meetings.

The meeting does not stop when all participants leave.
Here are 3 tips to make your meetings bear fruits beyond the hour spent together: a quality debriefing, follow-up on the action plan and a continuous improvement process to make the meetings that follow even more satisfying.

You want to improve the way your meetings run and you don’t know where to start? Are you doubting your ability to take the step towards meetings where participation and creativity reign?
Call in a supervisor. Have an observer (consultant, coach, line manager or colleague who is an expert in meeting facilitation) who will analyse your team’s meeting processes. Here are the points to observe to make a qualitative assessment of your meetings.

The Skills of the Meeting Facilitator

Conducting meetings is undoubtedly the most difficult task for a manager.
It requires a large permanent gap and excellence in all areas.
To deploy excellence in collaboration, you must be goal-oriented, an excellent communicator and be able to adapt to all people and situations. These 3 talents make you a conductor.

Do you think it takes a superhuman to run meetings?
Are you afraid that you will be told that the meeting was not useful, or was boring, or even worse, that the facilitation was not up to scratch?
One solution: divide the task into parts and delegate.
Lean on the team to divide up the roles in the meeting so that you don’t have to do the big split all the time. We will see the different roles delegated: time keeper, scribe, decision-pusher, speech distributor, expert, … etc…

How to manage participants intelligently, how to bring out the best in them during a meeting?
We will study how to inject quality anima into your meetings: by trusting, by understanding how groups work in meetings, by knowing how to react to different personalities, by managing latecomers and finally by finding the best strategy for the use of smartphones.

Managing employees and customers intelligently means anticipating the difficulties and resistance that will inevitably punctuate your meetings. Because some people are difficult, because some subjects are delicate. We will deepen the management of objections and the use of counter-questions to facilitate your meetings in difficult contexts.

Mind-mapping is a simple tool that can enhance your meetings.
In this video we will explain what mind-mapping is and its different supports.
Then we will observe how it can be used in meetings to synthesize information and lead group reflections.

How to avoid participants falling asleep in meetings?
How to avoid losing the 50% of participants who admit to handling emails, sms and other files during meetings?
Here are the 4 tips: alternate, set the pace, add visuals and make the meeting fun.

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