Do you want to liberate your meetings from staid agendas?

Me (Wendy): “Now that we’ve covered the first 10 minutes, the rest of the meeting will be following the agenda. However, there’s an art of doing that which is not just calling out each agenda item. Again, it’s back to the facilitation skills. The meeting host or the facilitator will guide people through the agenda items. It needs to be interactive and relational. I like to use Liberating Structures to help with this.”

Bob: “Liberating Structures! Yes, I love those! They are so much fun, definitely inclusive while able to get everyone’s voice in, regardless of whether people are introverts or extroverts, whether they speak a lot or if they’re quiet. Liberating structures can transition the different pieces seamlessly.”

Me: “Yes! And the good thing about Liberating Structures is that you can string a number of structures together, to really create a highly-interactive meeting that generates a diversity of insights and options. Remember the Start-the-Year party that we did with our teams last year? We hosted the party online, but not on Zoom. We found a different tool that allows us to “move around” like in real life. And, we actually got folks to do a retrospective of the past year, and a “planning” futurespective during the party. People thought it was just a party with games and didn’t even know they did work! Remember we repeated the Start-the-Year party earlier this year and we called out at the end what we actually did?”

Bob: “Yes! Even after we pointed it out, people still thought they just enjoyed a fun 2-hour party to start the year! This reinforces our point that meeting hosts need to up-level their facilitation skills. Once they do, they can say goodbye to boring, staid meetings of the past.”

Me: “Exactly! When people really think about facilitation instead of meeting, then the meeting becomes more fun for people, to the point where they don’t feel like they’re doing work. Remember how people said they were disappointed to find that the 2 hours had passed and the “party” had to end? They wanted to continue. And that’s online no less, amidst “Zoom” fatigue though we didn’t use Zoom. That’s the whole point about facilitation – making it alive and engaging so that people don’t feel they’re doing work. They are now able to engage with all sorts of modes and unleash their creativity when it feels like they’re playing instead of working. They feel less stressed, and don’t feel overworked.

Read Wendy’s entire story here