In order for meetings to run smoothly in any setting, you need to have proper and effective facilitation techniques.

While that may seem easy to say, it can sometimes be harder to do. By following these guidelines of facilitation, you can be successful in everything you try to accomplish with your team. 

1. Work backwards

It sometimes can work best if you have your major focus or goal in mind and work backwards from goal to starting point. While moving forward is the typical route, starting out with clear achievements in mind can put things into perspective and help you determine what you have to do to get each goal accomplished.

2. Engage everyone with decision making

People will work hard on the things they have ownership over. If you give everyone a voice when making a company-wide decision, it will motivate people to work hard to prove their decision is the best one possible.

3. Plan, plan and then plan some more

Having real, accessible time goals in place can help everything move along at the most even pace. Set deadlines and make sure all supplies are ready. Planning ahead can also give you the most efficient use of of your time in meetings.

4. Make everyone feel heard

Maybe one person has the perfect solution in the room but has a hard time getting their point across. By letting people feel heard and having an open platform for discussion, you will make the most of the best qualities of each person in the group.

5. Parallel processing is faster

Break up the people within your group into smaller groups based off of dominance and personality, and have them discuss an issue. When you rejoin, you will be surprised at all the different view points and scenarios that have been addressed and what great ideas have been built.

6. Create a safe space

Having a safe place to discuss and explore ideas makes people comfortable to share and throw out great ideas for your project freely and quickly.

7. Proximity creates a level playing field

By keeping everyone closer together, you will blur the lines of age, intelligence, position and more. It makes everyone feel as if they are on the same level and respect each other for optimum work-ability.

8. Work with what you have in the room

As a meeting facilitator, tuning into the energy, emotion and body language of everyone in a room can help address issues and really show what each person has to offer.

9. Listen for common ground and reflect it back to the group

Summarizing frequently can sometimes put things into perspective for some people. Group facilitators should be active and gently firm. Also, celebrate the progress of the group to encourage them.

10. Remember, you are the facilitator

Try to remain as neutral as possible, and remember to be part of the team instead of a distant authority. Stay transparent and grounded. Admit mistakes, ask for silence if you need it, trust the group and the facilitation process.

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