A successful meeting will have the earmark of enthusiasm and positive energy among participants. But group dynamics are tricky. Getting from point A as individuals to point B as a group can be difficult unless the meeting facilitator is able to create alignment and connection.
A lifeless group is the facilitator’s nemesis. But, if individuals in the group already have conviction or passion you’re halfway there. The trick is to make sure everyone is in alignment – including you, as the facilitator. Building bridges by asking participants why they believe what they believe is a good place to start. These types of discussions often lead to a reexamination of value systems and bring people with related values together.
Secondly, positive energy and enthusiasm in the group will also come when connection between individuals is created. From the first handshake to conversations at lunch and plans made for the end of the day are all part of making those important connections. Sharing experiences and entering into another person’s world naturally connects us. Set the example; connect with individuals in every meeting you facilitate.
However, you should also be aware you are creating a hypersensitive environment by encouraging individuals to become a group. Facilitating connections among group members involves some risk, such as making participants feel vulnerable and exposed. Be mindful to respect the physical and emotional space of individuals.
Great outcome will flow from of the positive energy and enthusiasm of L.I.F.T-ed group dynamics. It’s at this point a facilitator can do their job and provide measurable outcome to the business.
Barry Shapiro is President and Founder of the award-winning facilitation company, Shapiro Consulting Group (SCG). For over 15 years he has improved the performance of leaders within Fortune 500 companies such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Ask him your most difficult facilitation questions on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. And if you’re courageous enough, enroll in SCG’s Facilitators Studio workshop coming up May 19-21, 2014.