Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter


Helping Managers Lead Better in Crisis

 February 2012

In This Issue
Meeting Facilitation
Video: Worldwide Drought Prediction
Professional Development
Life Balance
From the Bookshelf
Speaker's Corner

Featured Article

Meeting Facilitation: Structure Your Meetings for Success

Last month I wrote about the need to view meetings as part of a structured process and about the importance of the meeting agenda as the first step in that process. That article turned out to be one of the most popular ones I've written to date. This month we'll consider the next step in the process and I'll share some of the techniques I use to facilitate meetings.


Neutrality is the key

An effective facilitator is neutral. As soon as you appear to be using your role as facilitator to influence the outcome of a meeting, you lose your credibility. Consequently, if you have a strong interest in the meeting outcomes or want to participate in the debate, ask someone else to facilitate the meeting. Colleagues are generally willing to do this, particularly if you offer to reciprocate.




Featured Video


Worldwide Drought Predictions


Drought potential worldwide, 2000-2099 - Aiguo Dai, NCAR
Drought potential worldwide, 2000-2099 - Aiguo Dai, NCAR

This short video shows worldwide drought predictions for 2000-2099 based on 22 computer models. You can read more about this study at National Center for Atmospheric Research website.

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Welcome to the February issue of Emergency Management Solutions.
Given the popularity of last month's article on meeting agendas, I've decided to continue with this theme. This month I share tips and techniques for facilitating effective meetings. I hope you find them useful!

My monthly newsletter is a great way to keep in touch but you're not getting full value if you're not also signed up for my blog. I usually try to blog twice a week, so don't miss out! You can sign up on my blog site Canton on Emergency Management.


Visit my blog 


If you are having trouble viewing my featured article, try clicking on the link at the top of the page. Alternatively, you can always find my white paper on my blog site, Canton on Emergency Management.

Lucien Canton

Professional Development 


Ever notice how things that were supposed to make our lives easier have made us their slaves? I'm thinking particularly about email. It seems to eat up more and more of our time and can become overwhelming. The problem is our mindset - maybe we should start thinking about email like we used to think about snail mail:

  1. Snail mail isn't fast. Don't expect an immediate reply to your email messages. If it's that important, pick up the phone.
  2. Snail mail comes once a day. Set a time to check emails once or twice a day and turn off your alerting feature. If it's that important, they should have called.
  3. You wouldn't leave your accumulated mail in your mailbox, so do the same with email: file it, action it, or delete it.
  4. You sort snail mail quickly, discarding junk mail and opening the important stuff. Do the same using spam filters and automatically sorting to file folders.

Give it a try - you might find yourself with a bit more time on your hands!

Life Balance 
How do you measure performance? Unfortunately, a lot of us were taught to use activity as an indicator of performance rather than output. For example, a lot of us measure our job performance by the amount of time we spend at work. We talk about 60 hour weeks, take home work in the evenings and weekends, and allow work to be the highest priority in our lives. We feel guilty if we leave fifteen minutes early.
Try this next time you're at your desk. Lean back, wiggle your fingers for a minute, and try to think about nothing at all. Guess what? You just got paid for that minute. For most of us, there is no correlation between our work output and our salary. We get paid for our time, rather than for what we accomplish.
Stop worrying about putting in time. Stop worrying about process and activity. The only true measure of performance is output. Change your focus and you'll become more productive in less time.
From the Bookshelf 


I've said many times that one of the core competencies of any manager is the ability to effectively facilitate meetings. One of the books I've relied upon to sharpen this skill is How to Make Meetings Work: The New Interaction Method by Michael Doyle and David Strauss. Although it's been around since 1976, the book is timeless in what it says about meeting dynamics and in the structured process it lays out. Meeting facilitation is a learned skill - it's not something with which you're born. By practicing the techniques in this book, anyone can make their meetings more effective. It's worked for me!

Speaker's Corner 
Speaking Engagements 

Book now! Limited availability this year.

Looking for a Speaker?


Need a speaker for your next conference? I offer keynotes, seminars and workshops. You can find more details on my website  or on my SpeakerMix page. 


Lucien Canton Seminar Excerpts
Lucien Canton Seminar Excerpts
If you've heard me speak...


...I'd greatly appreciate it if you would take a minute to give me feedback on SpeakerMix. Just go to the site and click on the "Write A Review" button. 


Many thanks!

ŠLucien G. Canton  March 2011