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Facilitating with Ease!, 4th Edition by Ingrid Bens

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Chapter NineMeeting ManagementThe logo depicting “Facilitation,” where three people are arranged in a circle.

One of the key facilitator roles is to know how to design and manage effective meetings. First, sensitize yourself to the ingredients of an ineffective meeting:

img ___ lack of clarity about the meeting goal
___ a vague or nonexistent agenda
___ no time limits on discussions
___ no discernible process for working on important issues
___ no one facilitating discussions
___ people haven't done their homework
___ discussions that go off track or spin in circles
___ lack of closure to discussions before moving on
___ people vehemently arguing points of view rather than debating ideas
___ a few people dominating while others sit passively
___ meetings that end without detailed action plans for agreed next steps
___ absence of any process checking of the meeting as it unfolds
___ no evaluation at the end

At a bad meeting, there's no agenda. Because no one received advance warning about the focus of the meeting, no one comes prepared. The person running the meeting does not offer process tools for managing any of the discussions. He or she simply introduces topics and issues or gives updates of previous activities.

Since there's no discernable structure, conversations tend to float around. Individuals introduce side ...

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