All meetings are not created equal
In a perfect world, every meeting at your organization would be productive. After all, the costs of these assemblies — both real and opportunity — are high.
Successful meetings foster an open exchange of ideas and drive alignment around a shared vision that team members are committed to executing. Poorly run meetings, on the other hand, can sap team morale and energy. You never want your group to leave thinking that everything discussed could have been summarized in an email to save them time.
Our meeting facilitation services can help your organization conduct a collaborative, creative and productive in-person or virtual meeting.
What do we mean by ‘Meeting Facilitation’?
When an organization invests in meeting facilitation, they are showing their dedication to making sure team gatherings are productive. This goes above and beyond simply monitoring group discussions. Meeting facilitation not only fosters discussion but places a neutral party in the room to help the meeting participants focus on topics such as:
- Strategy and vision
- Accountability and achieving results
- Goal setting
- Leadership and team effectiveness
- Employee engagement
- Board actions
And when the meeting needs more than guidance, a facilitator can help:
Remedy the “elephant in the room” or underlying tensions that are typically uncomfortable or otherwise difficult for a group to address itself.
Enable a more efficient and effective decision-making process to help team members come to a clear understanding of their desired outcome and how to achieve it.
Constructively resolve differences within the team as a neutral third party who listens carefully to what everyone says and suggests a path to move forward.
What we bring to the table: How meeting facilitation benefits your organization
An experienced facilitator is a crucial component of running a successful meeting. While meeting attendees are experts on internal operations, they may not have the meeting facilitation skills or vocabulary to engage in a productive conversation or reach a decision that all are committed to executing.
With expertise in both psychology and best business practices, an effective meeting facilitator embodies a series of roles and responsibilities, such as:
- Keeping conversations on topic
- Ensuring everyone’s idea is heard
- Suggesting ideas for better decision making or problem solving
- Improving participation in discussions
- Assuring decisions are made and executed
A good meeting facilitator has the balance of being an unbiased observer of the group and active guide during these crucial conversations. They must understand the core value, strategies and priorities of the business and help everyone in the room identify their shared interests that help make meetings more productive.
Some other important facilitation skills and qualities you should expect in a meeting facilitator are:
- Active listening
- Time management
- To the point communication
- Action and results oriented
Our proven meeting facilitation strategy
At The Bailey Group, the act of facilitating a meeting is only one small part of the value our experts bring to your organization. You can rely on us to design and plan the group process, thoroughly document conversations and ensure accountability for action items to continue momentum after the team meeting adjourns.
Unlike your average meeting facilitation services, our process is driven by our extensive knowledge of human behavior and group dynamics. With this expertise, our facilitators can get to the root of the behavioral barriers that hinder your meetings and work to change them.
We don’t have to tell you that human behavior is full of nuances that can enhance or derail dialogue, but we have the facilitation skills to ensure your meetings remain on the right track. Our facilitators take the time to understand your team to achieve deeper trust and great inclusion within your organization.
Having a trusted, neutral arbitrator facilitating your meetings can help make the implicit explicit.
We follow five basic principles:
- Having unconditional positive regard for all participants
- Providing a safe space for participants to be open and genuine
- Listening to all participants with empathy
- Utilizing disagreements constructively to drive innovation and build trust and understanding
- Resolving differences through an unbiased lens
Meeting facilitator vs. meeting leader
A meeting facilitator does not replace the role of the organizational leader during a meeting.
Though at a surface level it may feel like the responsibilities of these two roles overlap, they are, in fact, distinct.
A team leader runs the meeting. They are responsible for scheduling the time, laying out expectations to the team, setting meeting objectives and making sure they are met. At the same time, they must be a positive role model and unite the team with a common purpose. When a facilitator is brought into a team meeting, the leader of the conversation must introduce them to the group and explain why they were brought in.
A meeting facilitator, on the other hand, focuses more on the progression and flow of the meeting. The leader may have an agenda of the important points they must discuss and a facilitator can help manage the time to ensure everything is touched upon. They will also be in tune with the room and make sure everyone is being heard and understands their roles during the meeting.
During a meeting, it should rarely feel like a leader is simply talking to the team or covering a topic that is redundant or otherwise too simplistic to dedicate this amount of resources to. A facilitator helps foster collaboration and engagement for a productive gathering.
Next steps: Getting started with effective facilitation
When you need someone to help your team improve their collaboration as a group, investing in bringing a meeting facilitator into your organization is the first step. These experts do not step on the toes of the leaders at your company, but enhance what they are trying to accomplish.
The meeting facilitators at The Bailey Group know how to enable sustainable change for all of your future meetings.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to make sure your next in-person or online meeting is a productive one. We’re looking forward to speaking with you.