Jim Rose
EQ Consulting Services
611 Bear Den Road
Townsend, TN  37882
865-207-4480

jrose@eq-consultingservices.com

Are you using “facilitative behaviors” to improve the effectiveness of meetings?

I describe facilitative behaviors as things participants can do to improve the effectiveness of meetings.   The following are examples:

  • Asking people for their input
    • Helps to get input from people that might be hesitant to speak up
  • Summarizing agreement
    • At times it appears that a group is finally in agreement on a topic but they just keep talking about it.  Someone could ask the question” are we in agreement that…..”?  If the group agrees then move on to the next topic or adjourn.
  • Seeking clarity
    • Sometimes it is not clear to you or possibly others what a person has said.  It can be helpful to just ask for more clarity.
  • Validating people
    • Sometimes a person makes a statement that is not necessarily popular with other participants.  It can be helpful to thank the person for expressing their viewpoint even if you personally might not agree with it.  Then in the future they will be more likely to express other viewpoints some of which could be very valuable.
  • Reading non verbals
    • Be on the watch for messages that people might be sending during a meeting with their body language.  Examples could include: looking out the window, rolling their eyes, crossed arms, just looking upset, etc.  Then seek to understand and address the issue.
  • Remind the group of their mission or goal
    • Occasionally a group will start working on something not really related to why the group exists.  A technique for managing this is to ask if the topic is really supportive of achieving their mission or goal.
  • Paraphrasing
    • Rephrasing what someone has said can accomplish multiple objectives.  One is to ensure you did understand what they were saying.  It can also be used to let the other person know that you got what they were saying.
  • Using humor appropriately
    • The key word is appropriately.  Bringing some levity to a meeting at the right time can have a positive impact on a meeting.

Having all members of your group aware of these behaviors and utilizing them can increase the effectiveness of your meetings.  Are you going to share these?  Which ones will you start to use?