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JULY 2014

Tip of The Month

Improve your Facilitation skills 
By Tiffany Dahlberg and Penny McDaniel 

 

Would you like to improve the quality of your meetings?  Some of the most common challenging behaviors for meeting facilitators include disinterest/disengagement, side conversations, ongoing interruptions, soapboxing, lashing out, showing up late or leaving early, and more. 

 

When you meet people's needs, they are more likely to be engaged and exhibit effective group dynamics in meetings.  One popular and useful behavioral tool is the DiSC model. DiSC stands for Dominance, Influencing, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. When you understand the four behavioral styles you can plan your meeting in such a way that you can meet the needs of all four styles. 

  

If a meeting participant tends to be assertive, direct, and results focused, there is a strong likelihood they are a "D" (Dominant) style. They may try to dominate the meeting, be impatient, and exhibit selective listening. They need to know the meeting is focused, stays on track, accomplishes its purpose, and will end on time.  Make sure to send out your agenda in advance and include clear timelines for each agenda item.  D's don't like a lot of unnecessary chit-chat; they like to get down to business and get things done.  By facilitating a well-planned meeting, you will enable them to support the meeting's purpose. Remember D's like to take on leadership roles so providing opportunities for leadership can be helpful.

 

If someone else is assertive but also more sociable or people focused you may be dealing with an "I" (Influencing) style. I's tend to be enthusiastic and vocal; they like to talk and are much less formal than the D's.  The biggest challenge for you as a meeting facilitator with this behavioral style will be to keep them on track and on-time, and reduce side-talking. They like time to socialize with others so a brief check in to see how people are doing on a personal level before you jump into the business can be helpful. Using Meeting Agreements and timelines can also be helpful to keep them focused. I's are great at communicating and selling ideas, so use this strength when possible.

 

Often those who appear to be calm, soft-spoken, and display patience and empathy are your "S" (Steady) styles. S's are your best team players. They like to get the job done but they also care about others and how they are being treated.  The biggest challenges that they bring to a meeting includes being overly quiet and also resistant to change. So, knowing this, you will want to use techniques that get their input. Allow time for individual thinking before expecting them to share their ideas, make sure participation is encouraged and expected, and show genuine appreciation for their contributions.

 

Those who are more analytical and focus on accuracy are exhibiting the "C", Conscientious, style.  C's are task and problem focused so they often see things through a critical lens. This can be helpful, and sometimes detrimental, to the group. For C's it is helpful to have a clear agenda sent out in advance, be fully prepared for your meeting, include any information they may need to make decisions, and make sure to document meeting results accurately. They like a more structured and organized environment.  Clearly identifying timelines for decisions helps C's from getting too bogged down in the data. Starting and ending meetings on time is also important to C's and will help you earn their respect.

 

Considering the needs of the four styles as you plan and facilitate your meetings can help you have more productive meetings.  If you would like more information on the DiSC or meeting facilitation, contact us to learn more.

"It's not the will to win that matters... everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."
- Bear Bryant

Denver Workshops

 

Do you want improve your project success?  Check out our classes listed below:

 

Comprehensive Project Management

August 11-14, 2014

 

Comprehensive Project Management with PMP Prep 

August 11-15, 2014

 

PMP Prep  

August 15, 2014

 

Essential Project Management

December 16, 2014

 

Essential Business Analysis

December 17, 2014

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Tiffany Dahlberg - Ready2ACT