Running Great Meetings and Workshops For Dummies

Running Great Meetings and Workshops For Dummies

by Jessica Pryce-Jones, Julia Lindsay

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Overview

Run engaging, productive group sessions with practical guidance and expert advice

Running Great Workshops & Meetings For Dummies delivers the tools managers need to facilitate engaging and rewarding group sessions. Written by two highly experienced leadership and coaching consultants, this book provides practical, hands-on instruction that can help you turn your meetings and training sessions around. Boost productivity by engaging attendees from the start, scheduling with time and energy levels in mind and keeping to a clear agenda. You'll learn the skills that will help you get the most out of every group session and discover which seemingly small details can have a huge impact on outcomes.

The current global recession has increased the emphasis organisations place on skills development and training throughout the world. While specialised service organisations exist, many companies lack the means to outsource their training needs or invest in specially trained staff to get the job done. Running Great Workshops & Meetings For Dummies presents a solution by providing clear group leadership instruction with immediate applications to employees in any department. Regardless of the type of meeting, training session or workshop you're running, this book provides the information you need.

  • Learn to align outcomes and objectives, establish an agenda and schedule and manage pre-work for attendees
  • Discover how to connect with the group, establish expectations and set ground rules
  • Find out how to set the pace, manage challenges and objections and troubleshoot issues
  • Effectively evaluate the session, ensure accountability and maintain momentum

Running Great Workshops & Meetings For Dummies provides practical advice you can put to work today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118770467
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 05/19/2014
Series: For Dummies Books
Pages: 346
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Jessica Pryce-Jones and Julia Lindsay are joint CEOs of the iOpener Institute for People and Performance, an international consultancy headquartered in Oxford, UK. iOpener helps organisations achieve their commercial goals and makes this happen with great meetings and workshops. Over the past 10 years, iOpener has delivered approximately 15,000 workshops world-wide.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond the Book 4

Where to Go from Here 5

Part I: Getting Started with Meetings and Workshops 7

Chapter 1: The Business Case for Better Meetings and Workshops 9

Reviewing Why People Hate Meetings 10

Being clear about what everyone dislikes 10

Recognising how many meetings are unproductive 13

Working out the incredible costs of poor meetings 14

Understanding the ripple effect 15

Knowing what everyone wants from their meetings 15

Recognising When People Get a Lot from Their Workshops 16

Developing a great design 17

Delivering brilliantly 17

Understanding Meetings and Workshops 18

Recognising the similarities 18

Understanding the differences 19

One more thing 20

Chapter 2: Planning Your Meeting 21

Deciding Whether You Really Need a Meeting 22

Reflecting on Your Objective 23

Content-free versus content rich meetings 24

Getting to a one-sentence objective 26

Understanding the Function of an Agenda 29

Writing a great agenda 29

Getting your agenda items for a meeting 30

Managing your sponsors and stakeholders 31

Planning agenda items 32

Recognising a poor agenda 37

Structuring a Great Agenda 38

Reviewing a good agenda 38

Writing really simple agendas 42

Planning For and Managing Personal Energy 43

Double-Checking Your Preparation 45

Chapter 3: Planning Your Workshop 47

Understanding What Workshops Are All About 48

Recognising when you might want to run a workshop 49

Following your decision: Making a project plan 50

Identifying Your Stakeholders 50

Finding your key players 51

Meeting your sponsor and any key players 53

Defining Your Outcomes 53

Checking your outcomes 55

Reviewing some good and some bad outcomes 55

Understanding why you spend so much time on outcomes 57

Establishing the return on investment (ROI) 57

Getting Ready to Do the Design 60

Thinking it through 61

Considering whether to stay on-site or go off-site 63

Checking out the workshop room 63

Doing Your Design 64

Getting in the right frame of mind 64

Working on and with your personal style 64

Recognising all the different activities available 68

Getting a rough design together 69

Writing up your one-page design 70

Breaking the ice 72

Writing your detailed running order 73

Getting sponsor sign-off 74

Supporting materials 75

Joining instructions 75

Building your skills and getting good at group work: Next steps 76

Chapter 4: Getting Ready for the Big Day 77

Developing Your Essential Skills 78

Asking good questions 78

Listening to others and the overall conversation in play 84

Recognising the levels of listening 86

Observing others 89

Understanding Groups 96

Understanding group norms 97

Communicating in a group 98

Decision-making 98

Surfacing issues and concerns 99

Doing real work 100

Assessing the gel factor 101

Building self-awareness 101

Practising What You’ll Say 102

Rehearsing 103

Visualising your session 104

Part II: Running Great Group Sessions 105

Chapter 5: Handling the Start of Your Session 107

Managing Yourself 108

Wearing the right clothes 108

Checking your materials 110

Eating the right food and drinking the right drink 110

Getting there early 111

Imagining yourself doing well 112

Meeting and greeting everyone 112

Kicking Off the Session 113

Creating the atmosphere you want 114

Outlining the agenda 115

Housekeeping 116

Clarifying expectations 116

Allocating roles and responsibilities 118

Setting up ground rules or a code of conduct 119

Decision-Making 120

Understanding the decision-making process 121

Understanding your decision-making options 122

Working with weighted decision-making 123

Recognising Personalities in the Room 125

Working with Bolton & Bolton’s Social Styles 126

Working with Honey & Mumford’s Learning Styles 130

Chapter 6: Continuing Your Meeting or Workshop 135

Managing Process 136

Checking in 136

Signposting 138

Summarising 139

Linking 139

Stating what’s been said: Paraphrasing 141

Writing up key information on a flip chart 142

Giving clear instructions 143

Facilitating Group Discussions 145

Introducing a discussion topic 146

Getting input to a topic 146

Allowing a conversation to move sideways 147

Shutting up 148

Dealing with an elephant in the room 148

Dealing with comments skillfully 149

Managing Process Problems 151

Managing time 151

Dealing with rabbit holes 152

Using parking lots 153

Opening old issues up, closing current ones down 154

Managing energy 155

Managing guests 155

Dealing with unexpected situations 157

Revisiting and reviewing expectations 158

Reviewing Your Meetings and Workshops 158

Reviewing a meeting 159

Using online tools 159

Reviewing a workshop 160

Chapter 7: Dealing with the Tough Stuff: Troubleshooting 161

Managing Typical Barriers to Success 161

Knowing What to Do When It’s Not Working 162

At the start of your session – when the group helps you 163

At the start of your session – the group doesn’t help you 164

During your session 166

Dealing with Run-of-the-Mill Difficulties 167

Handling Interruptions 169

Phones 169

Laptops and tablets 169

To-ings and fro-ings 170

Dealing with Difficult Behaviour 170

Managing distorted thinking 170

Dealing with difficult individuals 171

Tactical seating 177

Recognising Personal and Hidden Agendas 178

Tuning in to personal agendas 178

Tuning in to hidden agendas 179

Dealing with personal and hidden agendas 179

Dealing with recommendations 180

Managing Conflict 180

Recognising unhealthy and healthy conflict 181

Getting the group to understand what’s happening 182

Dealing with conflict: A process for a group 183

Dealing with conflict: A process for individuals or factions 184

The main take-away 187

Chapter 8: Handling What Happens Next 189

Reflecting On Your Meeting or Workshop 190

How did it go at a big-picture level? 190

What specifically should I keep doing? 190

What specifically should I start doing? 191

Writing Up Meeting Minutes 191

Writing up simple minutes 192

Writing up more formal minutes 193

Using meeting software 195

Calculating Your Return on Investment 196

Evaluating your work 197

Expressing ROI 198

Reporting On and Closing Your Project 199

Reports 200

Review meetings 200

Understanding project closure 201

Reviewing your entire project 201

Writing up your report 205

Part III: Building Your Skills 207

Chapter 9: Building Participants’ Knowledge and Practise 209

Working with Case Studies 210

Understanding what they are all about 210

Knowing when to use the case study method 211

Thinking through your purpose 212

Using great cases 212

Managing everyone’s preparation 214

Working with the group 215

Working with Role Play 217

Believing that it’s the right thing to do 218

Calling it what you will 219

Developing realistic and appropriate role plays 219

Setting the role play up for success 221

Managing and explaining the process 221

Understanding your role play options 227

Reinforcing the standard 228

Using Video 229

Reflecting on personal performance 229

Observing personal performance 230

Reviewing footage 230

Getting the right technology 231

Having the right software 232

Chapter 10: Running Focus Groups 233

Knowing When to Use a Focus Group 233

Thinking About What You Want to Achieve 234

Side effects of a focus group 235

Characteristics of a focus group 235

Preparing for Your Focus Groups 236

Defining a clear purpose statement 236

Building your timeline 237

Getting the right people in the room 238

Generating the right questions 239

Developing a script 241

Recording information 244

Preparing your kit 244

Running a Focus Group 245

Working with observers 245

Pausing 246

Checking your technology 246

Writing It All Up 247

Transcribing your material or writing up your notes 247

Sorting and then analysing your data 248

Interpreting your data 249

Writing up your report 250

Putting it all into action 251

Recognising the disadvantages of focus groups 252

Chapter 11: Taking It to the Next Level 253

Brainstorming: Best Practise 253

Recognising problems with brainstorming 254

Brainstorming effectively 255

Managing large group brainstorming 264

Managing small group brainstorming 265

Brainstorming alone 266

Working with Some Common Group Tools 267

3Ws 267

SWOT Analysis 269

RACI analysis 272

Force field analysis 273

Ishikawa or fishbone diagram 275

Decision trees 278

Using Appreciative Inquiry 280

Understanding Parallel Process 283

Chapter 12: Running Remote or Virtual Meetings and Workshops 285

Managing Remote Meetings 286

Recognising when to have a remote meeting 286

Inviting the right people 287

Limiting the agenda 287

Finding a good time 287

Sending invitations and call details 288

Sharing materials 288

Managing your kit 289

Getting going on time 289

Reaffirming the ground rules 289

Stating your goal 290

Using a wingman when working remotely 290

Keeping it relevant 291

Handling PowerPoint 291

Taking control when you can 291

Being respectful of time 292

Signposting 292

Using ‘let’s’ to drive direction 292

Thinking about your voice 293

Asking questions for active participation 294

Recording your meeting 295

Saving all the information 295

Reviewing your meetings 295

Managing Hybrid Meetings 296

Working with ten top best practises 296

Reviewing Available Technology 298

Understanding Remote and Virtual Workshops 301

Embracing yet more technology 302

Recognising the challenges 303

Thinking about virtual learning 303

Building your next steps 306

Part IV: The Part of Tens 307

Chapter 13: Ten Common Mistakes on the Day 309

Failing to Set Up Group Work Properly 309

Talking Too Much 310

Ignoring Emotion 311

Failing to Join the Dots 311

Failing to Deal with a Difficult Person 312

Failing to Recognise an Expert in the Room 312

Failing to Change What You’re Doing 313

Thinking about the Detail Rather Than the Big Picture 313

Failing to Push a Group 314

Being Too Dogmatic 314

Chapter 14: Ten Things You Have to Do When the Pressure is On 317

Preparing Brilliantly 317

Having a Plan to Move Away from It 318

Creating Rapport 318

Building Trust with the Group 319

Taking Breaks 320

Being Fair to Everyone 320

Dealing with the Unacceptable 321

Using Humour 321

Noticing When the Group is Going Off Track 322

Holding It Together 322

Index 325

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