When we think of smartphones and facilitation, the first image that comes to mind is that of an ostensibly disengaged or distracted meeting participant fiddling with his or her phone. For those of us whose job it is to ensure that meetings are productive, smartphones have become personae non gratae, the addictive gadgets that we have to lure our participants away from, at least for a little while.
The Meeting Doctor Blog
The last month has seen the unfolding of World Cup 2014 in Brazil, with the love of the “beautiful game” uniting fans around the world. As much as these events emphasize the many trends that unite us globally, they also remind us of the striking diversity of nations and cultures.
In my last blog posting, I argued that Myers-Briggs Type Indicator results do not determine how well people can perform as facilitators MBTI measures preferences, not skills. As facilitators however, we can benefit from being able to identify certain introverted or extroverted traits among meeting participants, so that we can structure our meetings in ways that will give both groups enough time to shine and enough space to feel comfortable.
I’m sure that most of you have heard about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the relatively recent book Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain. The former is an assessment that determines a person’s psychological type and the way in which one processes information and interacts with others.
Each one of us has attended a bad meeting at some point in our lives. We have wandered into meeting rooms, notepad in hand, sometimes unsure of why we have gathered or, more often, confused as to how we are to reach the desired goals. We have experienced speakers who dominate conversations or engage in meandering arguments, while others stare listlessly out the window, their feet bouncing and their eyes sliding in the direction of their vibrating smartphones.
Being in the world of business is a thoroughly serious business. As meeting facilitators, we take charge in meetings in order to emphasize the agenda, the process, and the need to get “down to business.” We practice the serious art of neutrality and ensure that discussions never stray too far from the important topics at hand. We also galvanize group energies to build strong, effective teams. Comedy, on the other hand, often inspires people to indulge in playfulness and deviate off course.
While the act of reading body language can be far more ambiguous and imprecise than Lie to Me makes it seem, the show is based on a scientifically founded premise. Charles Darwin himself argued for the existence of universal facial expressions, and since then there has been plenty of research that suggests there are common ways in which human beings express their feelings and attitudes using their bodies.
or several years Facilitation First has been proud to be a part of the Chinese Professionals Association of Canada’s Leadership Development Program (LDP). This program helps internationally trained professionals move from technical roles to management positions and is the first of its kind in the immigrant community.