Virtual Library

Misconceptions about Facilitation

  The Institute of Cultural Affairs in Belgium identified five common misconceptions about facilitation. Facilitation is another name for training. In training, information flows primarily from the trainer to the [...]

The Benefits of Facilitation

  Benefit #1: Facilitation improves meeting outcomes. Improving meeting outcomes is one way of increasing the return on investment for meetings. The meeting investment is the sum of the salary [...]

Not All Business Meetings are Alike

Generalizing about meetings – whether to complain or to recommend “best practices” - is easy. What is challenging is to recognize and respond to the ways in which meetings differ. [...]

When facilitation is not the answer

Facilitation, understood as designing and leading a participatory group process, can have a transformative effect. In the hands of a skilled professional, a facilitated process can help a group discuss [...]

Meetings as Ritual… revisited

Reflecting recently on the banality of most meetings, I turned to “Meetings as Ritual,” an article I wrote in May 2005 and later included in the Bonfire Collection (2014). Here [...]

The Boss with Bad Meeting Habits

I hear with alarming frequency from employees who report that when they suggest ways to improve their organization´s meeting culture, they encounter resistance from managers who do not believe in [...]

The Facilitator’s Tightrope

Inserting a facilitator into a group´s existing power dynamics is a risky business. Often a facilitator’s help is requested because dysfunctional behaviors are inhibiting the group´s effectiveness. The client allegedly [...]

Hidden Agendas in Meetings

When you hear the words “hidden agendas,” what comes to mind? Clandestine plots? Power games? Conspiracies lurking in the meeting room? What if, in the planning phase of a meeting, [...]

How long should a meeting last?

When someone asks me “How long should a meeting last?” the underlying question often is “How can we avoid meetings that drag on with no apparent end in sight?” The [...]

Are "meeting" and "conversation" synonymous?

Quick answer: No. Here are some typical distinctions between these two formats for human interaction. Meeting Conversation Formal Informal Set time and place Spontaneous Conference table Kitchen table Protocol-driven Arise [...]

How to be inclusive without being boring?

With the good intention of "being inclusive”, meeting organizers sometimes propose dynamics that are more boring than productive. Some typical examples of these mistaken practices include: A round of introductions [...]