I (for obvious reasons) am a great believer in hiring professional facilitation services to run workshops and meetings. But that is not always possible. If you are running your workshop in-house, there are some key things to get right to make the time and energy invested by everyone worthwhile.
My top ten tips are:
1. Have a clear, written-down plan, but be prepared to be flexible
2. Set up a “task” that everyone can work towards (people love a challenge)
3. Create a “parking lot” where thoughts not completely relevant can be captured
4. Establish and enforce rules on how to be to get the most of the session
5. Gather everyone’s expectations from the session
6. Start with an energiser to break to ice, even when everyone knows each other.
7. Don’t be afraid to “be in charge”, even if there are more senior people in the room
8. Let the real boss speak last so as not to influence the other attendees
9. Break up the session with big and small group activities – keep the energy moving
10.End with an Action Plan
For more detail on each of these, check out my website