Unlock Your Board’s Potential: The Secret Weapon of Effective Meetings 

Do people arrive late to your meetings? Do you spend as much meeting time on side issues as on the agenda? Do you feel like you meet and meet and meet but still fail to make progress? When your group needs help, consider engaging a facilitator.  A facilitator helps groups succeed in these four ways and more.

1. Facilitation: Drive Directly to Your Goal

A facilitator designs activities to help the group build trust, gain knowledge, and identify solutions. To do this, they craft interaction opportunities that enhance relationships. When other task issues surface, the facilitator notes and returns the group to the tasks at hand. As needed, facilitators remind groups of the goal and ask a question that focuses on it.

2. Facilitation: Get Unstuck

Often, groups know they’re stuck, but they don’t know what to do.

In one meeting, a team repeatedly stated to me that they lacked the authority to take action on a program that was draining the organization’s budget. I challenged them to confirm their lack of agency. They learned from the executive they had the authority to recommend and implement an action plan. The group moved from “we can’t because they won’t let us” to solving the problem.

3. Facilitation: Get Sticky Issues Heard

Nonprofit execs find it difficult to find adequate meeting planning time. A seasoned facilitator speeds the process. They clarify the event’s scope by asking thoughtful questions. A facilitator also anticipates challenges and explores options to overcome expected roadblocks in advance.

While preparing for a meeting, an executive director and board chair answered my questions about a scheduled retreat to update their strategic plan. The questions helped them to realize that they needed a new vision, not an update of their existing one. With this in mind, we conducted strategic planning to help the board respond to evaluate four distinct visions. When the meeting ended, the group established a new vision and a master plan.

4. Facilitation: Improve Attendance

Announcing that an outsider will lead your meeting increases attendance. Participants decide, “This must be important.” Having as many people as possible at the table brings ideas and builds buy-in. One board chair explained, “Not only was I pleased with overall attendance, but I was especially pleased George was here. He rarely does, but when he does, he makes valuable contributions.”

A facilitator increases focus and helps groups succeed in a myriad of ways. They encourage attendance, clarify goals, reduce staff planning burden, design effective routes to destinations, and, if needed, get you unstuck.

Chat with Karen. For more about how Karen’s strategy planning, click here.


If you appreciate these Added Value posts, please consider subscribing.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Karen Eber Davis Consulting. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Posts