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Meeting Facilitation: How Can a Facilitator Make Meetings More Productive?

June 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 221

Some companies think unproductive meetings are characterized by negative behavior, and they can be, but most unproductive meetings are simply uneventful; they fail to produce something that justifies holding them. When a company holds unproductive meetings, it first attempts to correct the problem internally. If that fails, the company typically hires a facilitation expert-someone who specializes in helping groups reach productive solutions to various problems.

A meeting facilitation is a valuable resource for companies that have an upcoming meeting that must be productive (e.g. a strategic planning session), but it can also help companies redefine what productive meetings are, and how to hold them on a continuous basis. In either case, a facilitator improves the quality of meetings by implementing the following strategies:

A Carefully Constructed Agenda

Conferences that lack an agenda often lack a logical beginning and end. A discussion takes place for a certain time, and then the participants go their separate ways. What was accomplished? Often, the answer is not much. To focus their responses and avoid creating a free-for-all that ends in exasperation, participants need a plan to follow. A carefully constructed meeting agenda by a facilitator is the ideal plan.

Time Management

Most conferences conclude within a few hours - a short amount of time for a group to evaluate its past efforts, define its present efforts, and determine whether the latter are sufficient to reach a goal. A skillfully planned agenda helps a meeting start out on schedule, but keeping it on schedule may require the strategies below: conflict management and guidance questions.

Conflict Management

A meeting facilitation is commonly requested when a company is struggling to reach a solution. Consequently, facilitation experts often enter a group's dialogue at a point when its members have formed factions, or individuals have asserted their will over the group. When inner group conflicts become a barrier to progress, a facilitator may employ time-outs, team building strategies, and other tactics that help diffuse arguments without making group members feel personally defeated.

Guidance Questions

Good facilitators do not provide answers for a group's problems, but they ask questions that help the group reach its own answers. For example, a strategic planning session typically involves at least four guidance questions:

  • What is the goal?
  • Where do things stand in relation to reaching the goal?
  • How can the goal be reached?
  • How can progress toward the goal be monitored?

Answering these questions, along with more specific questions based on the unique identity of a company, helps group members reach a solution on their own.


A meeting facilitation benefits groups having difficulty reaching a solution, needing help forming a strategic plan, or needing guidance on how to make conferences more productive. Facilitation experts help groups accomplish these particulars by implementing a planned agenda, asking guidance questions that stimulate useful answers, and employing time management and conflict management strategies as necessary. To learn more about the benefits of facilitation for group meetings, contact an agency that supplies facilitators today.

When a facilitator performs a facilitation session, a meeting facilitation makes business assemblies between colleagues more productive.

Source: EzineArticles
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