24 March, 2022

How to Facilitate a Meeting | Video

As a Project Manager, you’ll often need to facilitate meetings. In this video, we will look at the basic facilitation techniques and the disciplines for how to facilitate a meeting.   

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This is learning, so, sit back and enjoy

Around 20 Tips for Facilitators

  • Prepare in advance
  • Have an agenda
  • Make sure the room is suitable and all the materials you need are present and tested
  • Choose the most prominent position – head of table (or middle of row)
  • Be on time and be ready
  • Introduce the meeting – explicitly state the meeting objective
  • If people don’t all know one another, do a round of introductions
  • Posture
  • Ask for note taker (or otherwise ensure the group captures discussion points, agreements, decisions, and commitments)
  • Set ground rules and outline process
  • Alertness – looking around
  • Ask questions
  • Expect people to listen
  • Keep meeting on track and conversation on topic
  • Quickly deal with any disrespectful or otherwise poor behavior
  • Address conflict, allowing the substance to be debated in a respectful and constructive way
  • Make sure everyone gets to contribute
  • Monitor and manage the time
  • Create breaks when energy flags
  • Be clear when you are 
    • Facilitating 
      Drawing out contributions
    • Summarizing 
      Ensuring a shared understanding 
    • Advocating 
      Promoting one point of view (not really part of the facilitator role)
    • Concluding 
      Bringing a conversation to a close and the process of testing for and gaining agreement
  • Review key decisions and commitments
  • Close the meeting – and Thank people for their contributions
  • Follow-up

The Key Skills for Facilitating Meetings

  • Asking questions
    Finding the right question to move the conversation forward and gain a broader perspective
  • Observing mood
    Noticing desire to speak, agreement, disagreement, discomfort
  • Listening
  • Balancing perspectives
    Hearing different points of view
  • Drawing out contributions
    Allowing everyone who wants to, to speak – and also getting the points of view of the shy, low-confidence individuals
  • Protecting less confident colleagues
  • Dealing adroitly with conflict
  • Summarizing
  • Synthesizing themes and ideas

Eight Meeting Facilitation Tools and Techniques

  1. Pre-meeting check-in
  2. Round Robin (Go-round)
  3. Red Herring/Black Hole
  4. Silent reflection
  5. Brainwriting
  6. Car Park
  7. Small Groups
  8. One word…

Carefully curated video recommendations for you:

Our Meetings Training courses…

What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

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Mike Clayton

About the Author...

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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