Routines & social hacks for better meetings

by | 5.12.2022

Hi there!

Before I became a fulltime facilitator I did actually some completely different. I didn’t really grew up with meetings or any kind of facilitated gatherings. Wether in school, clubs nor in university. But facilitation is a skill and I believe everyone can learn it!

I would like to share in a little serious my favourite facilitation practices for meeting conversations like weeklies, jour fixes or however you call it.

There you go!

1) Start with a check-in

We as human beings need time to arrive in a room, in a social setting and with ourselves. Using check-in routines gives everyone time to arrive in the team or group, build empathy for each other and to transition slowly with more focus to the work.

As a facilitator it also helps to get a better sense for state state of mind everyone is present right now and act on that accordingly. For instance if you see someone struggling with something, ask them if there something the group can do for them.

Here are some simple steps for a check-in routine:

Invite everyone to short sharing round how they feel. Here are some ideas how:

  • Ask them to share their feelings with metaphers.
    • I feel like … (animal, weather, color, object, actor in a specific scene…) because …
  • Where are you coming from right now?
  • What are your hopes and fears for today?

You can also add another questions, that helps to build connection and get to each other little bit.

My three favourites:

  • What’s your happy place?
  • What did you want to become when you where a child?

A check-in can start with a simple question like:

  • How are you feel right now as a weather?
    • Some example responses could be:
      • ” I feel very sunny today. Warmed up and happy.”
      • “I feel very stormy today, like in the eye of a tornado. Things are currently crazy around me.”
      • Creates powerful before/after comparison if done at beginning and end of the session.

2) End with a check-out

It’s unclear how everyone feels about the meeting, the process and the results.

A check-out closes a meeting in a reflected way and makes transparent, how everyone feels now and to collect feedback on the results and the process to improve the next meeting accordingly.

A good way that always works: 👍 I like / 🧞‍♂️ I wish / 🤔 I wonder

Or collect mood feedback as a ROTI (=Return Of Time Invested) by showing their thumb up 👍 or down 👎.