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Trainer’s Tip: How to Effectively Chair Meetings


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Adele Finnegan offers Buffy Sparks an exercise.

I have found the following exercise to be very effective in running meetings workshops.
  • 1. Split the group into teams of four to six people.

  • 2. Each person has to pick a topic of their choice and prepare to facilitate a two minute discussion on that topic.

  • 3. Give the participants time to prepare individually. They then take it in turn 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 awkward silences. It can also be used to keep time - when the music stops, the discussions stops.

  • 4. After the first person in each group has facilitated their discussion allow two minutes for feedback from the groups - was the facilitator inclusive? etc.

  • 5. Round two - 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.

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How to Effectively Chair Meetings.

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