Meeting Facilitation                                   

High-five breakthroughs and better decisions, faster.

Is your group facing an important strategic decision? Are you concerned that not everyone is engaging in your meetings? Do you spend hours in discussion but not come to a conclusion? Are you forming a new committee or coalition? We can help you with all that and more.

As a professional facilitator, I make it easier for your group to discuss and decide things as a group. I help your group make better decisions, faster.

 

I manage the process so you can focus on the substance.

Learn more here about clients’ results.

Learn about the five key hallmarks you can expect from every meeting with me.

See case studies from my clients.

 

I work with businesses, nonprofits, governments, communities, and families.

 

What You Get

I typically provide four phases of service, as follows:

1. Planning

  • I begin all our projects with a planning meeting to discuss objectives, scope of work, logistics, and other considerations. Ideally this planning meeting will occur in person with a small group of people who know the project and the desired outcomes. I will ask, “What do you want to achieve? What would success look like?” Answers to these questions will help me design a draft agenda(s) to match your objectives. I will revise the draft agenda(s) in collaboration with you.

2. Preparation

  • If the meeting is to be online, I prefer to host it on my own Zoom account, but I’m open to other options. I can provide Meeting or Webinar formats with a variety of access settings.
  • I prepare GoogleDocs, handouts, charts, slides, signs, and other materials as appropriate.
  • In the case of in-person meetings, I want to make sure that the room is set up as ideally as possible to achieve the objectives and will often coordinate directly with facilities staff. I typically arrive on site 60 minutes in advance to do all room set-up. Within reason, I make and bring all handouts to the meeting.

3. Facilitation

  • In the case of in-person meetings we will become familiar with the meeting facilities and we will set up the meeting room. We typically bring all our own equipment such as easels, computers, projector, screen, etc. We provide supplies such as name tents, markers, and tools for brainstorming, multi-voting, tabletop surveys and other group decision techniques, as needed.
  • In the case of online meetings, we have a variety of tools available and strive to use techniques that will be a good match to the competency and comfort levels of your participants.
  • We provide the four essential functions of high quality facilitation:
    • Provide Structure
    • Encourage Participation
    • Reflect the Group
    • Move the Group Forward
  • We pride ourselves in facilitating creative processes that bring out the best in all members of your group. We use a variety of techniques to draw out all perspectives. Through efficient, disciplined approaches, we establish an inclusive and productive environment that fosters innovation and enthusiasm. We move groups toward shared understanding and agreement. We manage conflict objectively with compassion and respect. Our philosophy is to provide you with a framework on which to hang your own issues and ideas.
  • During the meeting, key findings, themes and conclusions will be documented on a large screen or via screen sharing software, on our greenwall, or on flip charts. As decisions are made they will be written on the spot for all to see in order to maximize shared understanding and agreement.
  • Participants will feel heard and will feel a sense of ownership of meeting outcomes.
  • Participants will conclude that the process was a good, efficient use of their time. Objectives will be achieved, good group decisions will result, and participants will leave the meeting enthusiastic for more work together.
  • Participants will be encouraged to fill out evaluation forms provided by us, and the results will be provided to you.

4. Follow-Up Report

  • Shortly after the meeting we provide a Highlights Report summarizing the themes and conclusions as captured in the meeting. Notes are provided in Word and PDF.
  • We would be happy to provide samples of reports we have prepared for clients, many of them posted at their own websites. Please just ask.

 

Types of Meetings we Facilitate

Here are the types of meetings we typically design and facilitate, both in-person and online.

Annual Meetings and Retreats

WHO: For boards, leadership teams, departments, or entire organizations

WHAT: To reconnect, plan for the future, do creative in-depth thinking, address organizational dynamics, do team building or training, or tackle specific big-picture issues. On site or off. Half-day, full day, or multi-day.

WHY FACILITATION: We help the group find collaborative solutions to specific problems and build unity around a shared vision

 

Strategic Planning

WHO: For boards, senior staff, management teams, owners, and others who set long-term direction. Often led by a steering committee; often designed to consider the perspectives of many stakeholders.

WHAT: To establish or update vision, mission, strategic direction, goals, and strategies – together. From a half-day day session to a multiple-month process.

WHY FACILITATION: We help the group consider all input, stay focused, reach conclusions, and agree on action items, timelines, and specific responsibilities.

Learn more about our approach to Strategic Planning facilitation

 

Collaboration Kick-Off or Exploration

WHO: For newly forming coalitions, task forces, or committees; for explorations of mergers or partnerships; for existing coalitions/partnerships in transition

WHAT: To establish or update common purpose, shared values, clear mandates, and operating guidelines; to explore potential collaborations. Single session or multiple sessions.

WHY FACILITATION: We serve the group as whole and help parties stay focused on key tasks

Learn more about our facilitation services for mergers and collaborations

 

Stakeholder Input

WHO: For communities, public agencies, or organizations seeking input before making policy or strategic decisions; for organizations testing an idea with potential users.

WHAT: To gather information from people who will be affected by, or who have a unique and valuable perspective on, specific decisions

WHY FACILITATION: We help participants stay on topic and feel heard; our analysis helps you understand key themes

Learn more about our focus groups, interviews, and survey services

 

Conflict Resolution

WHO: For two or more parties in disagreement; for a group with a culture of conflict or a group that has been through a challenging incident

WHAT: To lay groundwork for strategic or policy decisions that have highly charged opposing interests; to debrief and rebuild after challenges; to arrive at a mediated decision. A single meeting or a series of meetings along with one-on-one work with each party.

WHY FACILITATION: We create a safe space to express perspectives and encourage parties to arrive at mutually satisfactory conclusions.

Learn more about our mediation services

 

Conference Facilitation and Summaries

WHO: For anyone who wants an inclusive, cohesive con

ference with participant interaction and participant-driven conclusions and action steps

WHAT: We help you design the agenda, facilitate conference committee planning meetings, facilitate specific conference sessions and panels, and manage breakout sessions or table discussions. We also summarize highlights and themes from the whole event in Endnote Speeches.

WHY FACILITATION: We help keep conference sessions running on schedule, maximize participant engagement, build a common understanding of key takeaways, and free you up to be more present at your event.

 

 

Or perhaps a Talk or Keynote?

Click here to learn all about Craig’s keynote addresses.