Key Facilitation Skills You Need for Effective Meetings

Adriana Girdler

 Everything you need to know to be a great facilitator! Are you running workshops and facilitating meetings? Without the right skills, your meetings won’t …

Everything you need to know to be a great facilitator!

Are you running workshops and facilitating meetings? Without the right skills, your meetings won’t be as productive as they could be. You need some great facilitation skills that are going to make your meetings as effective as possible.

Here are a couple key facilitation skills you need if you want to run successful meetings and workshops!

Create an inclusive environment

All your participants need to feel like they’re part of one team, so creating an inclusive environment is critical for good collaboration. There are a couple ways you can create a positive, inclusive environment in your meeting.

First way: Icebreaker activities!

These can be done for both live and virtual meetings. Icebreaker activities are great when people don’t know each other very well or when you want to get the ball rolling on creativity and collaboration.

Second way: monitor participation and make sure everyone is taking part.

If you’re doing an exercise, get everyone to complete it individually first before putting them into breakout rooms. Then, they’ll all come to the table with their own ideas. This ensures that it’s not just one or two people dominating the conversation; instead, everyone is included and has had equal time to prepare.

Another way to ensure everyone participates: Keep your eyes out for the quiet ones, because you might have to draw out their thoughts, ideas, and opinions. A great way to do this is to ask for consensus (e.g. asking for a show of hands).

Lastly, believe it or not, sometimes you need to kick management out of the meeting! People might not give honest answers if management is in the room. So, keep it to meeting participants only if you have that option, and make the rule that what is said in the room stays in the room. This will bring out the most honest collaboration.

Actively listen

People will communicate more if they’re listened to!

A few ways to do this include having eye contact and receptive body language. Also keep in mind that you should be neutral and non-judgmental. You’re there to facilitate collaboration and capture opinions and ideas, not to assert your own ideas. So, respect every opinion. Sometimes, the most dissenting person in the room ends up having the best idea to build off of.

Another way to show that you’re actively listening is to repeat back to people what they’ve said to ensure you understand before capturing that information in your notes or on your flipchart.

Other key facilitation skills

I want to give you some more great skills to focus on when you’re facilitating meetings, so I’ve created a video that goes in-depth on a few additional tips that you’ll need if you want to ensure every meeting you run is successful.

Just head on over to YouTube and we’ll continue this conversation there!

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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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