Top 10 Tips for Facilitating a Meeting

The other day, my rotation came up to co-facilitate one of our weekly meetings here at the Eco-Village, which went really well.  Outside of the Eco-Village, I facilitate a number of meetings for sustainability-oriented organizations as a Consultant and have learned some best-practices over the years that I’d like to share with you.

1. Listen: Listen closely listen to everything that is said and watch people’s body language as well.

2. Develop the Agenda: Before the meeting, create an agenda that has clear items that lead to actual decisions.

3. Serve Everyone: As a facilitator, you are there to serve the entire group, which means you don’t take anyone’s side.

4. Steward the Process: Your job is to ensure the decision making process moves forward – the group’s job is to decide.

5. Conflict is Normal: Expect occasional conflict and work to build areas of agreement with the group.

6. Set Ground Rules: Going over some common ground rules at the start helps enforce bad behavior if it occurs.

7. Decide how to Decide: Every group needs to agree on what their decision making method is before they start making decisions.

8. Pay attention to time: Remind the group how they are doing on time and/or appoint a timekeeper to help ensure things keep moving.

9. Use your toolbox: One example: Use a stack (which creates a list of who will speak next so people don’t interrupt).

10. Practice: We learn facilitation by doing it. We get better at it by reflecting on how we did and constantly learning new ways to do it better.

I wish you the best as you facilitate future meetings!  I also welcome any facilitation tips you would add to this Top 10 list.


2 thoughts on “Top 10 Tips for Facilitating a Meeting

  1. Nice top 10 list!

    We have recently introduced MyMeetingPro for iPhone and iPad to help
    meeting organizers plan, conduct and document effective meetings. As more and more meeting participants utilize smartphones and tablets, tools such as these can help meeting leaders follow these tips and produce more effective meetings.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s