death valley

Facilitative Leadership

Effective Meetings

Designing and Leading Effective Meetings

The leadership of participative meetings is an “art form” and set of skills based on the principle: “Participation leads to involvement, which results in ‘ownership’ and commitment.” 

Many organizations encourage their leaders to practice participative meeting leadership in order to develop more creative solutions and earn employee and/or community commitment to support and implement change. 

However, many leaders are ill-prepared to effectively encourage and lead participation.  Results: They do it poorly, pay it lip service, or don’t do it at all.

This Facilitative Leadership workbook and practical application workshop are based on the collective experience and research available to help leaders learn and master participative leadership skills. 

The principles and techniques are straightforward and easy to grasp.  Practice and helpful feedback are the vital elements in mastering these skills.

Course Purpose:

This course is designed for Superintendents, Division Chiefs, Supervisors, Project Managers, Program Managers, Team Leaders and others who lead meetings where they have a stake in the outcome.  You will gain skill and confidence in designing and leading small-group participative meetings.

Learning Objectives:

Understand theory, concepts, principles and practices underlying leading participative meetings.

  1. Enhance communication and influence skills by learning to:
    • Make your point succinctly so that it can be heard and understood.
    • Use open questions to obtain, clarify and understand information from others.
    • Enhance trust and openness in in-tack teams by learning to give and receive targeted skills based feedback.
    • Design and lead four participative meetings to develop comfort and skill in providing clear information, gathering information from participants, developing alternative solutions based on group input and effectively closing a meeting.
    • Enhance ability to think through an issue and write an Issue Statement for use in in Issue Resolution problem solving meeting.
    • Enhance skills and abilities to be a fully contributing small group and team participant.
    • Develop the ability to give and receive constructive feedback.

Learning Activities:

1.  Lecture-discussion to present and clarify the assumptions and concepts underlying participative leadership:
  • Inquiry and Advocacy
  • Triangulation
  • Ladder of Inference
  • Feedback
  • Effect of Trust on Results
2. Lecture-discussion-demonstration of tools and techniques to encourage participation:
  • How to prepare and communicate information clearly
  • How to help others state their messages clearly
  • How to write and ask “open” questions
  • How to give helpful feedback
3. Practice a brainstorming meeting. Each participant will prepare and facilitate a five-minute brainstorming meeting to gather information.  Each person will receive constructive feedback from the Training Leaders.

4. Practice a meeting to give information succinctly. Each participant will prepare and facilitate a five-minute information-giving meeting.  Each person will receive constructive feedback from the Training Leaders and the small learning group.

5. Practice using Triplet Questioning technique to gather good quality information. Each participant will practice seeking good quality information by asking an open, clean question to seek information from another member of the class.  Each person will ask a question and then seek addition clarifying and justifying information to foster further understanding.  Workshop Leaders will coach each person in the use of the Triplet Questioning approach.

6. Design and facilitate a 20-minute problem solving meeting to resolve an issue. Each participant will think through a process to facilitate the small group in identifying potential problems and ways to off-set those problems.  The purpose of the practice meeting is:
  • Design an issue-resolution meeting based on Issue Resolution Logic.
  • Use previously learned skills in information giving, information gathering and charting techniques.
  • Work on real issue of importance to each participant.
7. Practice giving clean, clear non-judgment feedback. Each participant will observe others giving feedback, provide feedback and lead a feedback meeting.