Be Proactive! Structure Your Meetings to Create Clarity & Minimize Challenging Behaviours

September 22, 2020 1:13 pm

How you structure your meeting could invite conflict, off topic remarks, dominators, or, the flip side, create more engaged participants moving towards common outcomes. The following is a list of structural tips that strong facilitators use to proactively manage challenging behaviours (drawn from our Micro-Workshop, Facilitating Challenging Behaviours):

  • Use a POP (Purpose, Outcomes, Process) template to capture your meeting notes
  • Account for all logistics in your Process Notes such as breaks, the use of digital collaboration tools, follow-up etc.
  • Sequence topics so that they flow from:
    • A macro (high level, strategic) to micro (operational, tactical) level
    • A ‘content’ focus (telling ideas, presenting) to a ‘process’ focus (asking for ideas, debriefing)
    • Problem identification to problem resolution, etc.
  • Have your client/leader clarify their role(s) e.g. equal participant, status quo challenger, management team representative, etc.
  • Build time to sufficiently ‘set the context’ e.g. welcome everyone, do a warm-up, identify and ratify the proposed meeting purpose and outcomes, review group norms, identify the Parking Lot for off-topic remarks and the level of decision-making authority that the group has if decision-making is involved, etc.
  • Assume that not everyone will read the pre-meeting materials and do a high-level overview of what was sent out
  • Insert ‘Next Steps’ agenda item to close the meeting: use this for action planning, roughing in next meeting agenda, soliciting feedback (or use an Exit Survey), action emptying out all Parking Lot items

Do you have any tips that you’ve used to proactively manage challenging behaviours? Let us know by emailing us at

For more in-depth learning about Facilitating Challenging Behaviours, our next Micro-Workshop is scheduled for October 15, 2020, click here to register

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