It is a common feeling that team discussions suck – either your time or your energy so here are our 6 (+1) tips for the facilitators!
➜ Make Sure Every Voice is Heard
Don’t have monologues. Have short bursts of multiple people talking.
If you have dominant people – make them last.
If you have silent people – give them the stage.
If you have many people – split into smaller groups to have structured parallel discussions.
➜ Mine for Conflicts
Conflict is good if you keep it as healthy debate.
Conflicts is two or more points of view on the same thing.
Look out for people reacting with their body language and then not saying anything. Ask them to share their thoughts.
Conflicts leads to more drama in the meeting (which makes it interesting).
If you have drama in the meeting and then you manage it well so it stays in the room – you’ve had a good engaging meeting
➜ Interrupt Interruptions
There are people who love their opinions heard.
They tend to interrupt others.
There are also people who love to joke around.
They tend to bring some noise in the discussion.
If someone is interrupted – interrupt the interruption!
➜ Send Belonging Cues
Belonging cues are signals (often unconcious) that shows people that their opinion matters and they should feel part of the group.
If someone disagrees – make sure to say it’s OK.
Differences should be welcome.
➜ Invite Different Points of View
Continuing from 4 – don’t wait for people to share their disagreements.
Invite people to add more on the subject or to disagree on what’s been said.
If you want committed people – make sure to listen to them first.
➜ Keep Focus on the Topic
Before starting a discussion – make sure to know what you expect from it as an outcome.
That way you will know what is “on topic” and what “off topic”.
Make sure to “park” everything that’s not on topic for further discussion.
If you are wondering if it’s on topic – ask yourself whether the discussion will lead to the desired outcome.
🌟 (BONUS) Have a Break
Long meetings tend to suck out our energy.
Make sure to have a break roughly at every 40 minutes.
Stopping for a while will give you more progress.