In principle, in order to move from one topic to the next we have to have a next topic. Without something else important to do, there is little incentive to change what we are doing.
Strategic plans and meeting agendas are lists of next topics. The meeting facilitator moves the group forward by reminding them of the other important topics to be discussed. It’s not that we want to end this topic because we don’t care about it; it’s just that we need to start the next one.
If you or your group is in a negative place emotionally, the best medicine is often a healthy distraction.
Practical Tip: Have a next step always in mind. Make plans and agendas. Set group and personal development goals.
The skilled meeting facilitator and the effective leader know what’s next and are always prepared to go the next step. One need not always take the next step but, if one is prepared, at least it’s an option. Without a next step, we’re stuck.
In this video, Eunice and Jennie explain what it means to be “a complete listener”. They explain how listening to understand and being mindful of differences and similarities not only makes conversations more meaningful, but also makes us better people.
Thanks Eunice and Jennie!
This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.
Here’s what Craig says in the video
Hi everybody. Hey it’s Craig Freshley here.
I just lead a workshop about inter-group dialogue, and Eunice here said that it really helps in conversations when someone is a complete listener.
I love that phrase and so I’m going to ask her and also Jennie to talk a little more about it. Let’s see what they have to say.
Okay, so Eunice, Jennie tell me what does it mean in your mind to be a complete listener?
“I think a tendency of people is to listen with the intent of responding as opposed to listening with the intent of understanding the perspective first, and then formulating some sort of response that will deepen the understanding, and then facilitate a conversation with their differences or similarities.” – Eunice
“I also think it’s about thinking about what assumptions you have going into the conversation. How your experiences have informed your own perception and then using that to think about how others also have their own experiences that are different from yours, and using that as a way to really authentically listen to what they have to say knowing that you have differences and similarities.” – Jennie
“And one more thing. Everybody has their own experiences through the lens catered to their experiences that they have, by listening you can see how somebody else sees it from a different level, from a different view and I think it’s important not only for the person in the conversation but also as a self-bettering assessment of being a person.” – Eunice
Awesome. Thanks Jennie. Thanks Eunice.
I hope this helps you, listeners, be a complete listener.
In principle, the best decisions are made when the answer is self-evident to everyone. When a group of reasonable people have a shared goal and they freely share information about the current situation and options for achieving that goal, they are very likely to come to a shared conclusion about what to do.
When the decision making process allows all participants to see all the evidence, the right thing to do reveals itself.
Practical Tip: Do not lead a group to a pre-established conclusion but rather provide opportunity and structure to consider and analyze all views. Be open to all possibilities and openly share all relevant information.
If you really want the best decision for the group as a whole, evidence-gathering may take a while: many conversations, several meetings, time for individual processing.
If there is not enough time, decide only as much as you have good information to support. Guessing, gambling, or rushing to judgment often causes more problems later.
In principle, the more information we have about something the better decision we’re likely to make about it. And, we’re likely to have the most information at the last minute. Deciding more than we really need to at any given moment can cause regrets later. Practical Tip: Before you start making decisions, think about the order of …read more
In principle, consensus generally means that all perspectives are heard and all concerns are addressed, resulting in decisions that all participants can willingly consent to. Many groups aspire to make decisions by consensus but very few have specific protocols in place to guide its implementation. There is no Robert’s Rules of Order for consensus. Groups often plunge ahead …read more