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Facilitation Tools - Success Criteria Process

24 Jul 2016 11:54 AM | Anonymous

No matter how much you prepare in advance for a meeting,  each person has different expectations of what would mean a successful outcome of the meeting.    Each participant brings with them their own experiences, knowledge and ideas.  If you give participants an opportunity to share their idea of what success looks like, you will not only give each of them an opportunity to have their voice heard and know what a successful outcome would mean to them.   

Example:  If you are facilitating a meeting to evaluate a current practice for improvement, some potential outcomes may be:   "Identify what practices need to be change, added or deleted"  or  a different outcome may be, "Create a who new set of practices" .  If someone is anticipating the project to be completed at the end of the meeting and the actual outcome is just a "step" in that direction, they will be disappointed.  

The following exercise will help you to gain clarity on what the participants expectations are of the meeting.  

Procedures in person:

  1. Ask each person to write down their thoughts in answer to,  "At the end of this meeting, how will we know it was a success?" 
  2. Ask each person to write 2 or 3 statements that answer the question,  "What needs to occur during this meeting for those outcomes to be met?"   
  3. Have the group get into pairs and discuss what they think needs to occur and each pair select 3 things from their list for the meeting to be successful. 
  4. Either have them write them on half sheets or large post its.  Collect the sheets or post it and put them up on the wall in front of the room and read them as you place them. 
  5. Or have the teams read to you their top items per pair and list on a flip chart. 
  6. You can refer back to this chart at the end of the meeting reflecting on how well you achieved the desired outcomes. 

Procedures for virtual meeting with and without break out rooms: 

  1. Post the first question and ask everyone to write down at their desk the answer to question number one. 
  2. Ask the second question and ask them to write their answers on a piece of paper at the desks (individual brainstorming step)
  3. Place them into break out rooms and ask them to come up with 2 or 3 items per room that need to be accomplished for this meeting to be successful using their brainstorm lists with either chat boxes or white boards.
  4. Bring them all back to the main room and ask each group to report out posting their top items on a chat box. 
  5. Keep this chat box handy for referring to later at the end of the meeting. 
  6. If there are no break out rooms available ask the participants to star their most important "need" on the paper list and put that into the chat box to answer the second question.
  7. You can refer back to this chart at the end of the meeting reflecting on how well you achieved the desired outcomes. 

Attribution:  Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs Meetings That Work,  Jo Nelson's Meeting Tools,  IAF Methods Online Database,  Rosemary Pell, Pell & Pell Systems, Inc. Ontario Canada

For more tools like this consider attending the Tallahassee location of Meetings That Work,  2 day workshop developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs Canada. This is the first time this class will be offered to the public in the USA. 

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