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Seb Anthony

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Effective Meetings


I'm currently writing a one day workshop on "How to Effectively Chair Meetings".
Does anyone have any exercises/games/role-plays they would be happy to share with me.
The workshop is aimed at Service Technicians who are being promoted into Team Leader roles (in their existing teams) many of them have only ever attended meetings, not run them, I'm trying to make this as interactive and fun as possible. The groups tend to be very hands on, and learn most effectively through 'doing'.

many thanks for you're help in advance Buffy
Buffy Sparks

5 Responses

  1. meetings
    Hi Buffy

    I’ve writing this in a meeting facilitation module at the moment. And I’ve delivered this exercise successfully

    You’ve got the basic roles like the facilitator, minute taker, ideas person, team worker etc. and you bullet point their characteristics and give them to your delegates

    Then brief them to have a meeting on a given subject and make notes yourself on who drops into what role.

    During the debrief, discuss with the participants what roles they think they dropped into and why. You’ll find this is more realistic than giving them set characters to play and they can really find their niche in a meeting

    Hope this helps, feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss further on [email protected]

    Best wishes

    Rich Lucas

    Rich Lucas

  2. running meetings exercise
    Hi Buffy
    I have found the following exercise to be very effective in Running Meetings Workshops

    1. Split the group into teams of 4-6 people
    2. Each person has to pick a topic of their choice and prepare to facilitate a 2 min discussion on that topic
    3. Give the participants time to prepare individually.
    They then take it in turns to facilitate discussion within their groups using the topic of their choice (this can be current affairs/work related – anything that is likely to generate a discussion). I found it useful to play music in the background to distract from any awkard silences. It can also be use to keep time – when the music stops, the discussions stops.
    4. After the first person in each group has facilitated their discussion allow 2 mins for feedback from the groups – was the facilitator inclusive? etc.
    5. Round 2 – to make this more interesting, take one person from each group and discreetly give them a role to play – for example disruptive participant, disagrees with everything, or silent participant – refuses to participate, someone who monopolises the discussion etc.
    Its really interesting to see how the facilitator deals with these difficult participants and they get great feedback from the group in the debrief.I hope this makes some sense!
    If you would like more information please feel free to contact me – [email protected]

  3. Thanks
    Thank you to everyone who has posted fantastic responses to my question last week, you’re help is greatly appreciated,


  4. Role Play Your Meeting Behaviour
    To add to Adele and Rich’s comments re. allocating roles to delegates to participate in a meeting as a training exercise.

    If you have two groups of about 6 people, the other group watching the role play and the different roles of team worker, facilitator, chair, bored worker, own agenda worker, etc. can participate as observers and “score” the behaviour they witness on a sheet.

    This observer group then provide feedback to the meeting group. Both groups need to swap and complete the exercise so feedback is not just one way and everyone’s role behaviour is observed.Try and allocate roles against type to assist learning.

    The trainer can then lead a discussion on how much “behaviour” is exhibited in meetings ( often obstructive and destructive to achieving consensus) and how this can get in the way of a meeting’s purpose and flow.

    I have tried this exercise a number of times training middle managers and it works, and once ended up in tears of laughter as a formal business-minded senior finance manager proceeded to role play a young disruptive team member to perfection, effectively turning the meeting into collective exercise to control his negative behaviour.
    This performance was born out of his own experience of many years of chairing meetings, and dealing with disruptive participants.
    Now retired, his future obviously lies with local amateur dramatics groups as well as the occasional financial consultancy role!


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