October 9, 2014

Investing in Better Discussions to Produce Better Results

Take a moment and think about your days at work so far this month.
  • How many formal meetings do you think you've attended?
  • How many conference calls have been on you schedule?
  • How many informal discussions have you encountered?
If you calculated the total number of minutes you've spent in either informal or formal meetings, calls, and discussions, what would be your best guess?

No doubt it is hundreds and hundreds of minutes totaling many, many hours and reflecting a sizeable percentage of the work hours you clocked.

Now, the really important question: how much time do you and your colleagues spend on getting better at those discussions, working on making better decisions, becoming more efficient and effective in your work with each other?

Typically organizations invest little to no time in the professional development that would help their team members get better at something that consumes a sizable percentage of their working hours. True at the staff level.  True at the board or committee level.  True at the chapter or component level.

If you do nothing else this month, take 10-15 minutes with colleagues to collaboratively explore one very critical question: what are small changes that we could make in how we meet and make decisions that would better leverage individuals' time and contributions?

Trust me.  People already have answers for that question and already think about it on their own or talk about it with other workers.

And if you want to make a one-time professional development investment that will enhance the quality of discussions, decisions, and results in your organization forever, join 15 other association and corporate professionals at a one-time Art of Facilitation Train-the-Trainer event in Washington DC on October 22, from 9-3:30 p.m.

Participants will receive all the materials (content outlines, slides, and handouts) to teach facilitation skills to their colleagues at work and to volunteers in your association.  We'll spend the day experiencing sample content first-hand and discussing how to teach and facilitate it in your own future efforts.  You can register here: goo.gl/qVfxi4.  I highly recommend sending a pair of participants if you can so that you have more than one individual equipped to do future training.

Can't make it to DC on October 22?  Thinking you might like to offer this type of program for your chapter leaders, board members, or maybe just your staff?  Interested in hosting a similar train-the-trainer opportunity and helping market it to other associations and organizations in your immediate area?  If you said yes to any of these future options, contact me about your interests.  While on sabbatical in 2015 writing, Say Yes Less, conducting facilitation trainings is one of the few programs I will be presenting along with a limited number of keynotes.

P.S.  It's easy to collaborate with another association or two and jointly bring me in for a facilitation workshop and share the costs.

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