Have you ever attended a meeting at which you observed or experienced any or all of the following:
- You are uncertain what the meeting's purpose and goals are;
- You are confident about the meeting's purpose and goals, but the others don't seem to be on the same page;
- The "meeting" seems more like a random conversation – without a clearly defined starting point, logical progression of analysis, and agreement as to a plan and means of implementation;
- The attendees seem to be pulling in different directions, without really hearing what others have to say and without using select contributions to the discussion to build a harmonious approach or plan;
- The nominal "leader" of the meeting is anything but?
If so, you have experienced what is, often, a typical meeting.
In contrast, have you ever attended a meeting at which you observed or experienced all of the following:
- The process is structured, with a clear purpose and defined goals;
- The steps that the meeting follows are clear from the outset and are reflected in the agenda;
- The steps support a logical development for each goal – how and why current practice falls short, how it might be modified, and plan how to implement agreed-upon changes.
- The leader guides the attendees and is focused on running an effective and structured process, rather than on contributing to the substance of the discussion;
- During the process, the leader motivates the attendees, keeps them focused, fosters an atmosphere of a team working together, and helps them harness their various ideas and viewpoints into a consensus;
- When attendees leave the session, each one fully understands the "deliverables" – who, specifically, is responsible for doing what?
If so, WELCOME to a facilitated meeting!