Expect Active Participation by Facilitating

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How many times do participants speak and feel heard when you present new ideas? Facilitation skill allows people to speak and ethically nudges steller interests and abilities toward a shared finish line for quality growth. How so?

1. Question possibilities by raising one umbrella query to launch your presentation. Lectures tell – while questions hold opposing views up to the rainbow for a look through people’s unique lenses. Take the 2-footed question, Are you prospering with the brain in mind?” To facilitate that roundtable approach in any sized presentation, we hand out 50  brain facts, myths and questions as a framework to discuss each fact. Participants pair-share to identify or shape a related but personal question that serves to guide our on-going discussion in the direction of practical solutions to real problems.

2. Target improvement in briefly stated goals. A trajectory toward improved targets first requires identification of a collaboratively stated problem. The problem identified might be – current organizational learning and evaluation approaches tend to sustain broken systems, for instance. Wherever a system is broken, or people bored, or routines rigid,  or where creativity is lacking – lies an opportunity for new neuron pathways to peak. Growth comes faster to those who target.

3. Expect quality results by illustrating specifically stated criteria up front. Yet encourage multiple approaches to create top results. Criteria or rubrics required to address this problem in a leadership roundtable, and that should be evident in results.  For example my brain based prosperity roundtable expects: 1). All participants find a meaningful opportunity to engage on the issues; 2). Solutions expressed in doable tasks that inspire change; 3). Opposing views valued and used to build consensus; 4). Multiple approaches evident to guide winning action plans for change from broken system to dynamic learning and evaluation approaches for success. 5). Timeline stated for each step of the plan with benchmark accountability plan to ensure planned changes occur.

4. Move resources from within the group’s brainpower – in ways that mobilize change through multiple intelligence actions. The best way past anxiety that comes from problems we encounter, is to step in the direction of a possible solution. Your brain’s plasticity will rewire to do the rest, and anxiety slips away in the process. Encourage participants to pair-share and work in teams, as well as provide space for people to create alone at times. Chart progress through graphs and easily understood scales. Discuss progress weekly with the group. Build a mock-up that illustrate the changes you expect to achieve. Enlist background music that enhances growth at work. Lasting change rarely comes by accident – yet growth follows with zip when we draw on multiple intelligences and have participants lead from their strengths to inspire others toward shared targets.

5. Reflect on where to from here? Discuss the process you used to tackle a broken system for the sake of quality changes that inspire ongoing growth. Show evidence of growth areas, problem areas and stagnation areas. Then tweak actions plans regularly to ensure on-going growth. Reflection is the opposite of venting or ranting in that it reshapes the brain’s plasticity for greater problem solving tools for change.

Whenever your facilitation includes these MITA approaches, expect fair-to-middlin’ results! It’s all in the action that changes and reshapes brains first, for the changes you chase together. Be careful to keep moving forward once you start in the race to peak performances through. Remember, the brain’s also equipped with a default for ruts. Have you seen it happen where you work?

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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset

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22 thoughts on “Expect Active Participation by Facilitating

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  19. eweber Post author

    Jim, I love the qualities you laid out so well here. How exciting that we also see these in Barak Obama and hopefully he will lead global experts in ways you describe here. Love your notion of “challenge” since it adds deeper meaning to issues, and yet can only be handled well by a brilliant facilitator! Jim, thanks! You inspire us all!

  20. JD

    Hi Ellen, I work by myself now as a recruiter but have been a part of many roundtables that used facilitators. A key is the round table attendees has to have a purpose and a understanding of the need for the roundtable. The facilitator must have credibility and be an expert for the topic. They must be of high energy, confidence and enjoy being challenged.
    As for using people to be active partners in a meeting, yes most firms have people capable of greatness. The leader must instill that confidence. I mostly managed sales people and managers, having them asigned a topic to prepare and share was never a problem for my teams at any level. Your being courious make a point, the leader must know his team and use his judgement as to how well each person would do and what topics would they feel most comfortable with

    JDs last blog post..The Secrets of Marketing Via Web 2.0

  21. eweber Post author

    Happy New Year Jim! What a great idea to add music to set the meeting pace. When people see in advance where the meeting is headed – they can contribute many more valuable offerings to help take it there.

    You build a great case for using people inside a firm to facilitate, and I agree that there are usually people are gifted to do just that in most firms:-) I’m curious though Jim!

    What do you see as the key skill for a facilitator who can take the roundtable to the peaks? Have you seen many with this acumen – where you work?

  22. JD

    facilatating is a key for a leader having a successful meeting. I use to hate just sitting and being lectured to. I would oepn sales meetings using some upbeat music to set the mood. I would start with a celebration and point out good results by meeting members and have them share in the (how they did what they did verbal reviews)
    I would then set objectives for our meeting and explain what the benefit the the group would be at the end of the meeting.
    I would asign topics to peer meeting attendees to have a change of pace.
    I looked at the presenting as a growth opportinity for the presenters and a form of reconition.
    I made sure there were plently of breaks and asked people what their thoughts were.
    I also made sure not to over meet and I wanted my meetings to bve an event.
    If the topics discussed are of value, the questions will come particulary if the presenter has credibility.
    Ofen times we think of a faciltator being someone from outside the group brought in as an expert but all leaders should read your post and try to perfect these skills themself.Thanks for the good insight to this topic

    JDs last blog post..The Secrets of Marketing Via Web 2.0

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