Hello Facilitators👋 I'm really curious about where everyone is from. I'd love to make this a mega post where we can see how diverse the Facilitator Club community is. Who knows, you might find a lot more people in your area than you thought! Once I have lots of answers on this post, I want to make a nice graph!
Hi all! My name is Caterina a.k.a. Cat (pronouns: she/her) and really excited to connect with fellow facilitators! I just joined AJ&Smart's Workshopper Master program and am already blown away by how this is going to amplify my skills and offerings. And I'm excited to continue sharing with and learning from you all in this community as well. In my full-time role, I'm a national program director and facilitator for anti-bias and DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) education programs across the US. I'll soon be shifting roles to lead change management. In my side hustle that I'm launching this year, I'm a DEI facilitator, consultant & speaker that focuses on shifting org culture through systems work, strategic planning & mapping, and change management. I've been facilitating for a few years now and absolutely love it, so I'm excited to have found this community. I'm originally from Dominican Republic and currently based out of Orlando, FL in USA with my partner and two Golden Retrievers. Big foodie and cook over here, so I'm always happy to talk food and recipes. Excited to get to know folks here, and happy to connect: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caterinamrodriguez/
I'm going to share the top 5 things you can do to set your video conference meetings apart from 80% of other meetings like them in your organization. The nice thing is that these are simple to do and you can start them today. #1 Welcome people by name as they join the meeting. There's nothing worse than sitting in awkward silence as people are joining the meeting. Welcoming people breaks the silence and sets you apart from other meeting hosts. #2 At the end of the meeting, thank people for their time and for joining the meeting. Let them know they are appreciated. #3 Start your meeting at 5 minutes past the hour or half-hour and end your meeting at 5 minutes before the hour or half-hour. This will help people take a quick break that have back-to-back meetings. Sure, you have 10 minutes less time in the meeting so you will need to use an agenda, keep people on task, use a parking lot for longer conversations, etc. You should be doing these things anyway. #4 Share meeting notes quickly after the meeting ends. If there are any loose ends, follow-up after they are resolved. #5 Only invite people to the people that need to be there. Share the meeting notes with others that may be interested by didn't need to sit through the meeting. They will appreciate it. I'll admit that I don't do all of these for all meetings. I'm working on it. However, when I do these simple things they set my video conference calls apart from most of the other ones people join throughout the day. Do you have any more suggestions to add to the list?
@Jeff Panning Sure! Depends on what I'm using it for. I could give you a few, so I'll share two that immediately come to mind. One of the greatest assets of Mentimeter is that people can share anonymously, which means I can ask harder questions that people will answer more truthfully (about collaboration, culture, opinions/beliefs, process improvements, etc.). I'm a fan of the sliding scales for hard questions because it gives people a range instead of specific choices, so people feel like they 1) don't have to "choose" something that's close but not quite right, and 2) are not outing themselves by being the only or one of very few people that ticked the minority answer. The visual sliding average almost always surprises people and creates a better conversation than pre-set choices (e.g., agree/disagree, yes/no, great/good/okay/bad, etc.). I build a conversation about what is surprising, why it's surprising, what is at the root of this unexpected variance, and brainstorm solutions on how to close the gap. I find sliding scale is the best format for addressing those pricklier conversations in productive and solutions-oriented ways. The other one is more of a fun warm up, ice breaker, or mental break from the program. I'll ask a 1-3 word response for a silly question in a word cloud format to get participants sharing in a low risk way that creates connections. Or I'll show them a variety of memes to get a pulse check and ask them to vote using the multiple choice format on which one is closest to how they're feeling. Or I'll use either of the quiz competition formats to do some fun trivia breaks as both a knowledge check in and also a way to gamify & reward those who are engaged. I typically stay away from using open-ended format on Mentimeter (unless it's a wrap up question of how they're feeling walking away) because it's a lot of text. For open-ended responses (like brainstorming, ideation, etc.), I'll always use Mural or Jamboard instead so I can group things, change colors & structures, and just have much more visual control. Hope this is useful!
If you really knew me, you’d know that… This is a powerful exercise I like to run with teams to get team members to know each other better. Here’s how it goes: “In the next few minutes, I want you to pair up with someone, just the two of you, and one person at time will finish the sentence ‘if you really knew me, you’d know…’ keep sharing one at a time until the time is up. Let’s do 3 minutes”! Although I never listen to the actual conversations as these are private to the pair, I’ve received feedback from people who despite having worked together 10+ years still find out new surprising things about each other with this simple exercise! Let’s give it a go in the comments ? I will start 😀