Facilitators Maximize Discussion Productivity

Corporate retreats, often situated in exotic locales, can be a lot of fun for employees. Yet corporations should also make sure to maximize the benefits that are available when so many members of the organization are together in one place. Whether meeting to address a specific problem and brainstorm a solution, or simply to work on team building and group facilitation, a lot of good can come from a corporate gathering. Yet businesses should be careful. Having too many people together in one place, all with varying interests and views can sometimes hinder the flow of ideas. For a company to get the most out of the gathering, it should strongly consider bringing in an outsider to help with company discussions. Doing so will boost the productivity of any kind of meeting, as the professional hired will usually possess unique skills, experience and training that allow them to do more than someone within the organization could. So, what kinds of services can a facilitator provide?

Team Building Services

One great offering is team-building services, which target unseen issues related to the group’s dynamics. Using the three-level approach by Leadership Strategies, these professionals will work to uncover dysfunctional behavior and a lack of trust among employees. Additionally, they will be on the lookout for poor communication and an inability to address disagreements. These certified professionals will not only diagnose these issues but will also help to remedy them, by giving everyone a chance to speak and by mediating and resolving conflicts without allowing them to take over the event.

Strategic Planning

Events devoted to strategic planning will also benefit from the addition of an outside professional. These experts will do research prior to the event to diagnose the problem and gain a better understanding of each participant’s interests. During the event, they will make sure that each participant has the opportunity to speak so that a genuine consensus is reached. Then the discussion will shift to defining achievable objectives and writing down a detailed plan for how these objectives will be reached. Since this individual comes from outside of the company, they will bring no personal bias or interests to the table.

Conference Planning

These experts will not only be helpful during an event, but can also aid in conference planning. Their experience means that they have attended a number of these events in the past, and thus understand what elements allow these events to be successful. They will focus on balancing the amount of time devoted to discussions, guest speakers and audience engagement to make sure that everyone benefits from the event.

These are just some of the many meeting facilitation options that a company will have. For more information, executives should find a service that matches these professionals with interested companies. These types of services will typically offer many options for type of service, and can customize a solution based on pricing concerns or the level of experience desired.

How Facilitation Skills Improve Meeting Productivity

Meetings take up a significant amount of time for employees in small and large organizations alike. At some point, employees at every level of the organization will have to attend a meeting with other employees to obtain information, participate in a brainstorming session, or for a number of other reasons. Yet when employees are in these meetings, they are costing the company money. If these meetings are unproductive, they will cost companies even more money because additional meetings will have to be held down the road. In order to have a good meeting, one needs:

  • Goals that are thoroughly explained and understood
  • A defined strategy for reaching these goals
  • Employees committed to arriving to the meeting prepared and ready to participate
  • A feeling among participants that their thoughts and ideas are valued

When a meeting lacks the qualities outlined above, it will be unsuccessful and the company will need to hold additional meetings. One way to ensure that these qualities are present is by putting an individual with facilitation skills in charge of the meeting. Since many organizations do not provide meetings training for employees, they usually end up having to hire someone from outside the organization to properly plan and run the organizational gathering. Hiring an individual with facilitation skills will prove beneficial before, during, and after the meeting.

Before the Meeting

The hired facilitator begins by meeting with organizational leaders in order to gain background information including specifics about the company, its industry, its goals, and its employees. This individual will also make sure to ask about the purpose of the meeting so that he or she can set goals for what the gathering should accomplish. This is the time when organizational leaders should inform the individual with facilitation skills about all known personality conflicts within the organization, so he or she can address these during the gathering. Once preliminary research is complete, he or she will type up a summary of this information and distribute it to participants before the meeting begins.

During the Meeting

Facilitators effectively oversee the meeting and make sure that all organizational goals for the meeting are met thanks to knowledge acquired through meeting training. He or she encourages member participation by asking questions to spur discussion and by helping shy employees to come out of their shells. Once everyone has had a chance to speak, the facilitator will use facilitation skills to help the group reach a consensus on which every team member has agreed.

Following the Meeting

When an individual with facilitation skills is put in charge, the meeting will be run so smoothly that fewer meetings are necessary in the future. In fact, the facilitator will ask members of each department whether they understand their role in reaching the organization’s objectives. By giving everyone a chance to ask questions before work begins, the organization is able to keep everyone on the same page.

Once an organization is ready to hire an individual with facilitation skills, it should check an online database of facilitators. Ideally, the company should find a facilitator who has completed meetings training.

Selling Products Online Is A Rewarding Enterprise

Anybody planning to undertake online business opportunities is concerned about two major concerns. The first is to be able to generate the maximum amount of quality traffic. The second is to succeed in promoting and selling one’s goods and services successfully. You only have to develop your networking skills and get a computer with an internet connection. However, you also need to do product research, determine customers’ demands, budget and spending habits.

Customers’ Online Practices
Incidentally, it is a must for internet marketers to examine and understand the online habits of consumers. This is important in getting their attention and conveying to them the right message for internet marketing campaigns. Take note that each user has peculiar preferences and tastes even with respect to the use of the internet. Study online habits of people carefully so you will know how to send a marketing pitch. The ability of an online strategist to formulate a thriving internet marketing program is one of the keys to a highly successful venture. Along this line, there is a need to build and put into action short and long-term strategies to stimulate more traffic to your site. Your technique must be effective to sustain the efforts and time that you have invested in your venture.

Develop a Potent Brand
Building a strong brand is also a priority in internet marketing. You need to invest in your brand online by putting a concept that will reverberate with your customers and compel them to come back again and again even when there is no promotion to attract them. Fortifying your brand online will undoubtedly intensify responsiveness and bolster your reputation. The more people are fascinated by your brand, the greater the chances that they will assertively look for it and stay loyal to you. One thing is sure that you will reap benefits for investing so much in your brand. Your brand is what customers, friends, suppliers and rivals know and understand about your enterprise. The conviction of most people is that the theory of branding is all about logos and packaging. Actually, the aspects of branding – logos, websites, marketing, layouts and content are not all that matter. There are other essential factors such as enhancing customer knowledge and interaction with your commodities and services. It is vital for you to make use of marketing tactics and strategies to facilitate continuous interface with your base of customers.

Not a Fad
In online business opportunities, you also need to realize the value of social media. Social media can make three things happen. One is to grow the business, the second is to make a business organization more personal and lay down the essential foundation for success in any online activity. This concept also makes us understand about social networks and brand conversations. When entrepreneurs use this approach, it starts to generate viable results. The brand becomes known and benefits about this brand spread rather quickly. Conversations begin to happen and proposals are passed from a single individual to hundreds and even thousands of uninformed people. Positive information saturates the search engines and the result is website traffic shoots up. Social media marketing does not stop at acquiring potential customers. It transforms these customers into loyal and satisfied patrons. You are then assured of a thriving business.

Meeting Facilitation: The Aspects of Becoming Successful

In business, facilitation refers to the successful running of a productive and impartial meeting, without leading or distracting the group from the main goal. Facilitators aid in meetings that involve a decision, finding a solution to a problem, and in the exchange of ideas for discussion.

Meetings are the perfect avenue to do find resolutions as they are where people come together to work on a common goal. Good and effective meetings include: a) one goal that everyone is familiar with. b) A plan to reach those goals. c) Understanding that everyone comes from different backgrounds, therefore, opinions and points of view will vary. d) A sense of responsibility and involvement with the company and one another.

One single and simple way to achieve a successful meeting does not exist. Building synergy usually comes with experience and cooperation from the group. The more people are aware of good group dynamics, the easier the job of the facilitator, and the more productive the end result.

Some of the aspects of facilitation include the following:

The role of the facilitator – Their task is likened to that of a mediator, who helps out in the process during a grievance, but not involved with what occurred before and what happens after. These are individuals who assist groups of people to effectively reach a goal and work diligently toward accomplishing that goal. They do not take sides or express their points of view, allowing the floor to discuss among themselves.

Consulting with the client – A third-party individual affiliated with another company may seek out the help of the facilitator. This usually involves business deals that include both companies to work together towards a common resolution. The facilitators will be able to understand the purpose and the best expected outcome.

Making arrangements – The meetings are to be arranged and managed by the facilitator. This involves the location to be approved by the participants and the acceptance of the invitation by those needed to be in attendance. This aspect involves researching for background information regarding why the meeting is being held in the first place.

Setting the agenda – In compliance with the previous aspect, this field also involves understanding in detail how each goal can be reached and how long it could take. With enough experience and practice, facilitators explain to the participants the issues and each possible course of action.

Understanding group norms and dynamics – Given that everyone comes from a different department, culture, and background, having enough knowledge on group dynamics can help the overall flow of the discussion and the productivity of the team. Facilitators should not make assumptions, but rather adapt to the differences. They should also be aware of the body language of each participant, and make sure everyone is comfortable.

All of these aspects make up sound and effective facilitation, with improvement noticeable in following meetings. At the conclusion of each gathering, everyone should have a sense of what to expect at the next showing. It is also critical for the facilitators to ask the group what they believe should happen next.