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Developing Great Meeting Facilitators

Discover the transformative power of developing skilled meeting facilitators within your team through a simple yet impactful strategy. In this video, the author, drawing from extensive experience, advocates for rotating the facilitator role among team members during regular meetings. By relinquishing control and empowering others, leaders can enhance group dynamics and foster a high-performing team. The video outlines the process, from pre-meeting collaboration on the agenda to the actual facilitation. Emphasizing the benefits of this approach, the author encourages leaders to embrace the magic of shared facilitation, promoting a more engaged and dynamic team environment.


How to develop great meeting facilitators during regular meetings. You know you can send people off for training to become a good facilitator. In fact, over my career, I’ve led many of those seminars and workshops to train people. But eventually, it occurred to me that the best arena for learning to be a good meeting facilitator is in a regular meeting, and it’s so simple. And I highly recommend this as a way to begin moving your group or your team, how to work with the dynamics of the group to become more of a high-performing team. It’s so simple. The secret is to rotate the facilitator role around group members from member to member during your regular meetings. This is something that’s so easy to do. You just tell the group that you’re going to do this before the meeting starts. You let the team know. By the way, I’m going to try something here. I’m going to be inviting one of you to be the facilitator. If you’re a team leader or a boss watching this, I tell you, this is magic. It will seem crazy to you. Many bosses say, “No, I need to run my own meeting.” Okay, but that’s like being a chauffeur, driving the limousine and trying to do business in the back seat.

It’s like, why? Why would you not want to have somebody else drive the car so you could be in the back seat thinking, listening, and so forth? The minute that you decide to let someone else facilitate the meeting, you then are able to listen and watch and hear things and contribute in ways that are much more effective because facilitating is calling on people, helping things happen. And when you have the rank of the boss added to the facilitator role, it really gets complicated sometimes. So when a facilitator is really needed, you can’t be the facilitator because you’re the boss. So we highly recommend, if you’re a boss, pick somebody you know and ask them to be the facilitator at the next meeting and let the team know that you’re going to be doing this. Now I’ve asked Tom or Piotr or Agnieszka or whoever at the next meeting. I’m going to ask them to be the facilitator. Then what you do is you work with that person during the next week or so. They go around and talk to people. They get input on what items need to be on the agenda. Then that person sits down with you, the team leader. If you’re the team leader, they sit down with you, and you work up the agenda.

And there are other videos in the series to show how to create an agenda to do that. And that’s the concept. That’s what you do before the meeting. And then in the meeting, what you do is you invite, you say, “Hey, welcome everybody. Remember I asked so-and-so to take over the meeting. I’m now going to turn it over to them. They’re going to be the facilitator. I’m going to sit here. I’m still the boss, but I’m going to be listening and, of course, making my contribution. But the facilitator, whoever it is, is going to be responsible for making sure that everybody is heard. From that, we stick to our time agenda, that we cover all the items we need to cover. Okay, let’s get started.” And the facilitator then takes over. But before that, the boss says, “By the way, I’m asking Susan or Piotr or somebody else to be the facilitator in the next meeting.” So what you’ve done is you now have two people in the group that are watching what’s happening in a very different way because Sue, if she’s up next week, she’s watching what Piet does or whoever the facilitator is in this meeting to see.

Okay. Now make sure. So now you have two people beginning to think about group dynamics. Now at the third meeting, you’ve got three people watching. You’ve got the first facilitator who’s comparing what they did with what Sue is doing. And then you have the third facilitator who’s watching. So now you have three people out of the group that are beginning to think about group dynamics. What I would do. Oh, gee, I wish that had. So you’re getting smarter and smarter and smarter as you rotate this around. It just is absolutely magic. And then you also, by the way, appoint a timekeeper to make sure that everything happens on the time budget. I’ll tell you, this is by far one of the most extraordinary things. Every client that I’ve worked with in the last ten years, I’ve strongly, strongly urged them to do this. And they’ve told me later it’s one of the best things they ever did. Give this a try. Begin to rotate facilitator responsibility. Work with each person to create the agenda, and let the group know who’s going to be coming on next. Watch what happens to the skill level and the awareness in terms of group dynamics of the people on your team.


This insightful video delves into essential survival skills for navigating today’s workplace challenges. Covering skills seven to ten, it emphasizes the importance of developing courage to face challenges (symbolized by “tigers”), mastering cross-functional teamwork, adapting to rapid change, and finding purpose beyond routine tasks. The author encourages readers to view their work as contributing to a larger purpose, urging them to quit a mundane job and discover work that aligns with personal passions and makes a meaningful impact. With a focus on personal development, organizational growth, and effective teamwork, the video provides practical advice for thriving in the dynamic modern workplace.

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