Wondering about ground rules? Here’s an option.

I recently taught a full-day course on Nimble Facilitation at the IAP2 Skills Symposium in Ottawa. As we reflected on the day, several participants noted one particular tool as their highlight, so I thought I’d share it here.

I often get asked how I handle ground rules in a group setting. And/or how I handle people who talk too much. My full answer is longer than you’d like to read here, but I can offer this tip:

Treat people as responsible adults.

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Collaboration in Service of Something

I have worked with two clients recently who listed “collaboration” in their strategy documents, in one instance as a goal and in the other as a core program/service. In both cases, I was curious about the why behind that choice. What value are they getting or offering from collaboration that would cause it to feature so prominently in their strategy? And how we can ensure its value is truly outweighing its costs? Even more than that, is collaboration an end in itself?

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Leaders as Decision Making Coaches

I am honoured today to welcome our first guest blogger to Wiser Decisions Faster.

Jan Gaysek worked as a corporate facilitator for Fortune 500 firms for more than 30 years, helping executive teams collaborate well. She specialized in the articulation and execution of corporate vision, facilitating high stakes sessions with challenging goals, differing opinions and a shortage of time. In her retirement, she is enjoying life in St. Maarten while doing occasional executive coaching.

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Listen for the Unsaid

One of the skills that differentiates a good facilitator from a great one is the ability to pay close attention to what’s not said. I’ve previously written about the importance of this discipline. You will often hear me ask a group, “How else could you have answered this question?” or “What do you notice about what responses have not [yet] appeared on this list?” It’s too easy to focus on what was actually said than on what could have been said. Both are instructive.

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