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Facilitating with Ease!, 4th Edition by Ingrid Bens

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

Facilitators need to know how to lead specific conversations. This chapter outlines some of these key discussions in step-by-step detail.

Nothing is worse than running an important decision-making session without structure. This is especially true when key stakeholders are present. Lack of structure allows the conversations to veer off track. It also emboldens talkative people to take over and make all the decisions. In contrast, having a well-designed set of steps will make you look both prepared and in control.

The agendas in this section of the book:

  • describe the essential conversations that every facilitator needs to know how to manage
  • provide clear, step-by-step guidance, including tools for making group decisions
  • ensure that all voices are heard and that there's buy-in to the outcome

Each conversation in this chapter is described as if you were meeting people both face-to-face and virtually. Having everyone in the same room is always the best way to meet, since personal contact builds relationships and encourages true collaboration. Having said that, we live in a global business environment where more and more meetings are conducted at a distance. In keeping with that reality, each set of meeting-design notes also describes the steps to take in order to conduct that meeting virtually.

Note that the agendas that follow have time frames ...

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