【英语之角】 Preparing For An Effective Meeting
Meetings involve 4 key elements: Task; Experience; Process and Style of Facilitation
Task is the purpose of the meeting. What are the measurable accomplishments that this meeting will do? The clearer the task the more focused the meeting can be. Most tasks fall into four categories:
- Information sharing: the task is to understand what is known.
- Problem-solving: the task is to explore and come up with the best solution at this moment for the problem or concern
- Action planning: to determine a specific course of action
- Building relationships: This type of meeting is often disregarded in meeting design formats yet it is by building strong relationships that the trust and respect is established for doing the other types of meetings.
Experience involves your intent for the style and feel of the meeting. Do you intend participation and consensus? Do you intend energy and excitement? Each factor changes the flow of the event. The intent may be complex or very simple but by being clear you can better tailor the process.
Process: Now that you know the task and experience you are aiming at it is time to review you options for method or process. How will you conduct the meeting in such a way that both the task is accomplished and the experience that you intend is sustained? What are the tools or procedures that will accomplish what is needed? What is the context that will allow the group to join in the process? For example:
- Information sharing: Report in a 4 –level ORID Format
Problem-solving: Use a brainstorming or workshop process to determine to current level of agreement in the group.
Action planning: Make sure to include the goal, barriers, actions followed by who, when and where.
Building relationships: A dialogue process will often help to build a sense of understanding and community.
- What happened?
- What do we feel about it?
- What do we think about it?
- What can we do about it?
There are many other methodologies that are available but this gives an idea of options..
The fourth element is my bias because you can actually design a very effective meeting only using the first three. The Style of Facilitation involves commitment of the individual or team to support the group’s wisdom emerging in the process. To be willing to prepare and operate with a style of trust and respect for the group they are working with. If we trust the group they will help to make the event what is needed. This means that once the preparation carefully done I let it go enough to be with the group in their process.
My image of a facilitator: Being a Midwife
The wise leader does not intervene unnecessarily. The leader's presence is felt, but often the group runs itself. Lesser leaders do a lot, say a lot, have followers, and form cults. Even worse ones use fear to energize the group and force to overcome resistance. Only the most dreadful leaders have bad reputation.
Remember that you are facilitating another person's process. It is not your process. Do not intrude. Do not control. Do not force your own needs and insights into the foreground. If you do not trust a person's process, that person will not trust you.
Imagine that you are a midwife; you are assisting at someone else's birth. Do good without show or fuss. Facilitate what is happening rather than what you think ought to be happening. If you must take the lead, lead so that the mother is helped, yet still free and in charge.
When the baby is born, the mother will rightly say: "We did it ourselves!"
From the Tao of Leadership by Heider
Lawrence E. Philbrook 台湾ICA资深建导师