VIEWS: 29 PAGES: 32 POSTED ON: 4/11/2011
Task Force… Task Force? … Task Force! Hey, AIESECer!!! Are you proactive in your AIESEC experience? Are you creative? Do you want to develop new projects? Do you want to improve the existing ones? Do you want to implement new strategies? Do you want to act now but are not sure how? Do you feel you need to discuss that with the others? Then holding a Task Force is the best way out. I guess you think, ―Hm, Task Force…. Sounds good, but what is it?‖ Well, you are not the only one to wonder. So, let me explain. A Task Force is a meeting or a series of meetings where ppl come to discuss problems, find solutions, develop and improve projects, so that by the end of the meeting(s) they would have a clear notion of the situation and develop a realistic action plan. The realization of the action plan should start exactly after the end of the Task Force. Obviously, we need Task Forces to connect and use the knowledge, experience and ideas of different ppl. And the more efficiently we hold them; the better is their positive impact. So here comes the second, and, honestly, the most difficult, question. How to hold a Task Force? To make it easier to explain I‘d like to divide the process into 2 parts: Preparation and Facilitation. Let me start with the Preparation. To tell the truth, everything is pretty flexible here. You can never predict the exact discussion content, nor should you try to do so. What you should do is to develop the milestones of the discussion and prepare the participants for efficient work. 1. You need to decide what questions you really want to discuss and what a possible overall outcome of your TF is. Remember, you never know for sure the discussion content; if you do, there is no reason for holding a Task Force! You may just predict a possible structure of the outcome. Say, while holding a TF on development of a new project dealing with the implementation of IT in some city, you cannot predict the exact project that will be developed, but you should know that by the end of the TF you want to have 1 new project. 2. You should think how you will help the participants achieve that outcome. How many ppl do you need? What ppl do you need? Can those ppl work together efficiently? Is it convenient for you to work with those ppl? How much time will they need? 3. Now you should develop possible agenda. Again, it may well change during the TF. However, you need to think of the activities that will help the participants to cover all questions and achieve the favorable outcome. Even though all those activities should lead to the favorable overall outcome, each of them should have unique objectives. Those objectives should be SMART and clearly stated. (For example, if your are holding a Task Force and its overall favorable outcome is the improvement of an existing project, the activities within the Task Force may be: the overview of the past experience, thorough analysis of every component of the project (stakeholders, structure, promotion, etc.) including the brainstorming of new ideas and their evaluation. In this case the unique objective of the overview of past experience may be: ―by the end of the overview all participants have the same understanding of the previous experience‖). 4. Then you should estimate the amount of time you need for each of the activities. Having estimated the time allocation you should pre-schedule several breaks to let the participants to relax. (N.B. You‘d better make small breaks (5 – 10 minutes) every 1.5.hr rather than longer ones but more rarely. This will allow them to switch from one activity to another easier or gain a fresh approach to the continuing one.) If your TF lasts for a whole day you should leave enough time for lunch. 5. So now you have the agenda that will guide you and the participants during the TF. Look at it again. Check if you’ve covered all the questions. Isn‘t it too long? If yes, then try to unite or modify some activities so that to use the time more effectively. If your TF lasts for more than 1 day, then be prepared that some ppl won‘t attend all days and, therefore, try to set clear borders between the days. 6. Congratulations!!! You‘ve finished a very important stage in the preparation of the TF: you’ve developed the agenda. Now let‘s move further. 7. Look at every part of your agenda separately and think how you will organize the discussion. Will that be a joint discussion or will you divide the participants into groups? (NB Some ppl cannot stay on track if there is no change in the format of activities) What information will ppl need to effectively participate in the discussions? What questions will you address to the participants to move and direct the discussion flow? I‘d like dwell on the last two questions, since they are crucial in preparation. 7.1. So, what information will ppl need to efficiently participate in the discussion? In other words, what are the materials you need to prepare before the TF so that the participants would come prepared for efficient work? First, you need to carry out small research on availability and amount of such materials. Then, you need to collect those materials and look thorough them. Choose 1-2 good link for every covered question in the discussion. If you find some printed materials, remember, generally ppl won‘t read more than 50 pages for the whole TF. It would be great if you have time to thoroughly read all available materials and write a short summary yourself, but, unfortunately you will hardly have time to do so. Another good idea is to divide the preparation of materials and their presentation among the participants. This will make them more responsible for coming and preparing and give you an opportunity to prepare better yourself. Make sure that in any case all compiled materials are prepared and distributed to wide-use well before the TF (about a week). 7.2. What questions will you address to the participants to move and direct the discussion flow? Try to think of a list of questions that will help you move from one point of the discussion to another and keep it at hand during the TF. Those questions should be specific and preferably open (See more in Appendix B). You will mainly use them to move the discussion and change topics. Be prepared to answer them yourself. However, making such a list will by no means save you from composing new questions during the discussions according to their flow. This will just make you more confident and guide you during the TF. In general, whenever you ask a question try to KISS. Unspecific questions annoy the questioned and make it harder to lead any discussion. It‘s a good idea to make a short list of the most important questions and mail it to all participants well before the TF. This will make they come more prepared to the actual discussion. 8. Another important tool is the preparation of hand-outs. Why do you need them? Well, there several reasons. First, this ensures that all people will at least have the most important information even if they don‘t read it beforehand. Another reason is that hand-outs help the participants to concentrate on the content of discussion rather than on writing. In addition, they guide them during the TF as they clearly indicate what is crucial in the TF and, of course, good handouts show the degree of your concern and preparation. You‘ll find more information on hand-outs in Appendix H. 9. Since you are the organizer of your TF, you are responsible for logistics. Make sure you have a venue, check where the participants may eat during breaks, think how you‘ll explain the route to them. You should have enough flip charts, scotch tape, scissors, markers, extra pens, hand-outs, paper for comfortable work. 10. Another important thing to do is to promote your TF. It‘s a good idea to prepare an effective presentation of your TF where you clearly explain your objectives and the milestones of the TF. In addition, you may find it useful to mail announcements via voice where you again describe your TF. It‘s cool when there are other ppl who want to help you and promote your TF with you: it‘s more effective and makes it more attractive for the rest. 11. Another benefit of promotion is that it enables you to select the participants. It may sound strange, but it‘s much better when there 2-3 prepared and devoted ppl on your TF the 10 – 12 indifferent ones. So it‘s up to you to choose those ppl. It‘s a good idea to open an application where you would include the questions which only the prepared ppl can answer. I‘d also advise you to make a list of ppl you want to attend the TF and personally mail them invitations. You may also contact them via phone or in person and clarify if they come. 12. Congratulations!!! You‘ve finished the first part of holding your TF: you‘ve prepared it. Now comes the second stage of your TF. Facilitation. It‘s the most unpredictable part of your TF, but, at the same time, the most interesting one. To tell the truth, you need much practice and persistence to become proficient in facilitating. The good news is that there is much information available on facilitating. I tried to include the most important information in the appendices, so that will ease your first TF. 1. In general, try to be attentive to the participants, notice how they are participate (Are they active or passive? Is anyone aggressive? Do they feel comfortable?), what they advise. Your main aim is to let the participants to focus on the content of the discussions and reach the favorable overall outcome. You should lead the discussions, let and encourage everyone to participate and feel comfortable. That‘s why you‘d better stay neutral and monitoring rather than participating. 2. In addition, don‘t forget to record the discussions, as it will help everyone to stay on track, make it easier to write the output and use the work done during the TF. If you‘re new at facilitating, I‘d advise you to ask someone, preferably, more experienced, to record for you: honestly, at first it‘s rather hard to take notes effectively, so that everyone would understand, and it‘s even harder to concentrate on both the discussion flow and notes. Gradually you will develop your unique mode of facilitating where you would probably prefer to record yourself. The most important thing is that however you choose to record your TF think about that beforehand. If you want to do that yourself, then practice; if you want to ask for help, also notify those ppl beforehand. 3. You may want to introduce ground rules and set expectations. They will help you to adjust the TF and make it more interesting for the participants. In addition, they will help you to control the behavior of the participants. However, it‘s largely optional and unique to every TF. Just make sure that you are not imposing them and they are not excessive. 4. Do not underestimate the importance of questions. They will become one of your most important tools of leading the discussions. Prepare a list of specific questions beforehand and be prepared to compose them during the discussions. The perfect situation is when your questions are easily understandable to everyone and they lead the participants. However, don‘t get disappointed if you feel you‘ve asked a ―bad‖ question. Just go on, ppl won‘t necessarily notice that and your next question can easily improve the situation. 5. While facilitating your TF always ask yourself: ―If I were a participant, would I this or that task interest me?‖ NB Statistics show that a combination of activity modes results in a higher level of participation than when a single approach is used. For example, some ppl prefer to have audio-visual aids, others need hands-on participation. Some topics need discussion in small groups of 2-3 persons, while the others need more opinions. 6. Besides setting a good climate, sharing and delivering information, giving directions, and facilitating discussions, your role includes transitioning from one topic or activity to another. Transitioning provides the participants a logical progression in their thinking from one topic to the next and helps learners link and connect information together. Transitioning may only be a sentence or two in between activities, but it is a critical function that keeps the participants with your TF as you progress through the activities. Transitioning can be done by — i. Describing ideas or outcomes from a previous activity and linking them to another activity. ii. Restating with the participants what they did in a previous segment. iii. Describing the upcoming activity relating it to where you are on the agenda posted on a flip chart. 7. Another important thing is to do is to start and finish all activities on time. If you reschedule the agenda, make sure everyone knows that. 8. As there are ppl with different learning styles, there are ppl with different working endurance. In other words, some ppl can work continuously without breaks for 3-4 hrs, while the others need breaks every hr or even more often. That‘s why it‘s important to be attentive to the performance of the participants and even add some breaks if necessary. It doesn‘t mean that you should reschedule the whole TF or add 20 minute breaks; it could be just an additional 5 minute break for a short game or massage. 9. Even though every TF is unique in its nature, there are popular challenges that almost all facilitators encounter. It‘s helpful to anticipate them and get prepared to deal with them. You‘ll find more information on how to deal with side-bar talks, never ending discussions and other popular problems in Appendix C. 10. It‘s also crucial for you to mutually adjust yourself to the discussion flow and the advice of participants. Encourage them to help you to improve and do your best to improve. Those were very general advice on facilitating a TF. For more information I‘d strongly recommend to read all appendices and any other information available on facilitating. However, there is another valuable source for your further improvement. It‘s the Evaluation of your TF. It‘s useful to receive the feedback of the participants exactly after the end of the TF or at the end of every day within the TF when everything is still fresh in mind. You may choose to develop a paper-based questionnaire or to leave several minutes at the end of the day for oral feedback. Whichever approach you choose, try to use open, specific questions that address both the discussion flow and facilitating. To compose those questions it‘s helpful to create a picture of a perfect facilitator holding a perfect TF and distinguish those qualities that make them perfect. Then just ask to evaluate those qualities in your work. OK, now you know how to hold a TF. You‘ve read how to prepare, facilitate and evaluate it. However, there is one more thing to do. It‘s writing the output of your TF. Output is a short summary of everything you did during the TF and the results you achieved. To write the output look back to your expectations, overall favorable outcome, evaluation, recollect the whole TF. Then think if the real TF satisfied them and briefly state what was achieved and what not. Add any supportive documents that describe the most important parts of the TF. (That could be the description of a developed project, your action plan or anything relevant to the TF you actually MADE during the TF). So, here is the end of the overview on holding a TF. I guess you still have many questions. Well, try to seek advice wherever possible: ask ppl around you, BTW you can always contact me, read specialized literature and, of course, practise!!! If you feel, I missed something essential in the overview, please do not hesitate to tell me. Appendix A Ground Rules &Expectations Ground Rules Ground rules help TF participants to establish appropriate ways to interact with each other during the TF. The rules do not have to be extensive. They may be as simple as ―treat each other with respect‖ or ―everyone has an equal voice.‖ Another important aspect of the ground rules is making sure that participants understand how decisions are to be made. It may be necessary to discuss the options with the team if they do not already have a decision-making norm. Options may include multi-voting, majority rule, consensus, or a combination of two different methods. A final note: not every TF has or needs agenda, or ground rules. Even after these tools are developed in some form, participants may still be confused about why they are at the TF and how they are experienced to behave. Don‘t expect to please everyone. Understand your role as a facilitator and do all you can to assist within that role, but remember, you can‘t be all things to all people. Preparation and TF plans can help to avoid most meeting pitfalls, but you cannot possibly anticipate every need, dynamic, and nuance of human interaction. The real job of facilitation begins once the TF starts. It‘s the facilitator‘s ability to recognize problems and respond appropriately to what becomes important. NB You should not set the ground rules yourself. You may suggest some, but allow the participants to choose themselves. After all, they‘ll have to obey them, so let them decide. Common Ground Rules: · Attend all meetings and be on time. · Listen to and show respect for the opinions of others. · Follow the agenda - stay on track. · The only stupid question is the one that isn‘t asked. · Ensure that credit is given to those to whom it is due. · No disruptive side conversations. · Cell phones and pagers off. Expectations You may find it useful to set expectations at the beginning of the TF. This will help you to adjust your and the participants‘ work to what you all really want to achieve. Even if you are the initiator of the TF, remember, all participants have equal rights to modify the content, and therefore, the outcome according to their needs. In addition, it will help you to increase the level of involvement, as you‘ll be discussing the things that really interest the participants. The content of expectations may be anything from stating of the overall outcome of the TF to specific wishes towards the participants to ideal structure of the discussion flow. Record all expectations on a separate flip chart and always be aware of its content. It‘s a good idea to check with all participants if all expectations were met during the TF at the end of the TF. Appendix B A Word on Questions Do you remember when you were a student and the tutor would unexpectedly call out your name for the answer to a question? If you didn‘t know the answer you probably experienced an emotional roller coaster ranging from surprise to panic, and finally embarrassment or even humiliation. As a result, you may have become less interested in the topic and intimidated by the discussion. Accomplished facilitators never create unpleasant feelings in attaining involvement. Instead, they attempt to create fulfilment and satisfaction within the team as a result of participation. Fortunately, there are several most widely used tools for facilitators to ensure the involvement but to exclude embarrassment. Let me name them: Count to ten. Wait full ten seconds after asking your questions. If there is no response, rephrase or ask the question again. Call on someone by name. Select someone who looks like they might know the answer. Otherwise, this technique can embarrass or make people feel uneasy. Use the name first and then follow with the question or request. (―Tell me, Kinga, how do you accomplish your goals in regards to managing your time?‖) Ask participants to summarise. Have your participants share in the responsibility of summarising what you've just covered and check their comprehension at the same time. ("We've spent a lot of time discussing… What are some major points to remember?") Use networking. Get participants talk to each other rather than have them interact with you only. (Take a few minutes and ask the person next to you how they use this process in their office. ―Michelle, you have dealt with that issue before. What actions should Tom be especially careful to cover?‖) Categories of Questions There are five categories of questions that skilled facilitators use to gain greater participation by their team members. They include: Open ended questions An open-ended question is the one that cannot be answered with a single word phrase such as ―yes‖ or ―no‖. They typically begin with words such as ―how‖, ―what‖ and ―why‖. Greater Response Questions In order to gain understanding and add depth to the team‘s involvement, facilitators need to know how to use three words to draw out greater information. These words are ―describe‖, ―tell‖ and ―explain‖. (‗‖Can you explain/ tell us more / describe how...‖) Redirection questions A team member will often ask questions of the facilitator as a follow-up to a remark made by him or another team member. It is important to recall that the facilitator should be neutral in content and proactive in structure. If the question relates to structure, answer it. However, if the question relates to content, consider redirecting it to other team members. (―What do the rest of you think about that?‖ / ―That relates to what Marta suggested earlier. Marta, what are your thoughts?‖) Feedback and Clarification Questions At certain times in meetings, the facilitator needs to bring closure or clarification to a topic being discussed. At the same time it is important that all team members are together in understanding the issue‘s status. At such times, clarification and feedback questions are appropriate. (―Let‘s see, Robert, if I heard you right; you are saying...?‖ / ―Where are we; will someone summarise our position?‖) Closed questions Inexperienced facilitators often ask the closed question too frequently. These questions typically result in a ―yes‖, ―no‖ or short response from participants and provide little involvement. Use these questions infrequently and for clarification since they typically add little to the discussion process. (―Has this issue been explained clearly?‖) To sum up, use your questions as an effective tool for leading the discussion but never to examine people. Good questions help people to think more clearly and develop their thoughts. So, help them! Appendix C Some Popular Problems Even though all TFs are unique in nature, there are several problems that almost all facilitators encounter during their TFs. They have the same nature and may only differ in content. However, it doesn’t mean you’ll have to deal with all of them during your TFs, but still it pays knowing them. Good luck! The Five Major Causes of Poor Meetings As a facilitator, ensure that the five major causes of poor meetings are eliminated from your TFs, and you will find greater productivity and satisfaction in TFs: Late – starting meetings – as facilitator, arrive early and get organised. Be assertive and start on time. If meetings begin late, those who arrive late are penalised and on- time participants are rewarded. Obviously, late-starting meetings are also unproductive. Wandering from agenda and tendencies to grumble – Tactfully refocus the group back to the agenda purpose and agenda item. Failures to set and end meetings on time – always indicate ending time on meeting notification and always end meetings at designated time. Lack of summary – Summarise the action or decision after each agenda item and summarise again at the end of meeting. Also indicate time frames and responsibilities for each action item to provide reminders and reinforcement. Lack of minutes – Use your flip chart sheets as minutes. Take five minutes to record selectively major actions, decisions and assignments. Other Problems That May Occur During TFs 1) Side-Bar Conversations i) A member of the group is having side-bar conversations with other participants throughout Sam‘s presentation. (1) A friendly reminder: ―Just a reminder, we agreed to ‗one conversation at a time‘ in our ground rules for today.‖ (2) Direct the reminder: Make eye contact (with Susan) and restate, ―One conversation at a time please.‖ (3) Personalize it: ―Susan do you have a clarification question for Sam?‖ or ―Susan, I can see that you have something to contribute; when Sam has finished we‘ll hear from you.‖ (4) Make a direct request: ―Susan, please hold your comments until Sam has finished.‖ ii) If Susan is the only one interrupting or having side conversations. (1) Talk to her at break, one-to-one. iii) If there are many people interrupting or having side conversations. (1) Put the process on hold and ask the group ―Do we need to take a break?‖ 2) Staying on Time i) The group has a lot to cover in their agenda, but they seem to go down rabbit holes and may veer off into other topics. (1) Invoke the ―keep focused‖ ground rule: Suggest the use of a Parking Lot to capture items that need to be pursued, but are not the focal points for this meeting. (2) Specifically re-focus on the particular topic/agenda item: ―I‘d just like to remind you that we are discussing item 4, team budget, please hold discussion on other topics until we get to them.‖ ii) The discussion has continued for some time and you are running out of time for the item. (1) Attempt closure of item: ―Team, we have 10 minutes remaining for this item. We need to re-focus. What do we still need to discuss to conclude this item?‖ ―We are almost out of time for this item, there appears to be more discussion required. Is that true?‖ Follow-up a ―yes‖ response with, ―What do you need in order to close on this item?‖ or ―Why are we unable to close on this item?‖ iii) The item is truly important and just wasn‘t given sufficient time for the necessary discussion and action. (1) Give participants a choice on how they want to spend their TF time: ―Is this item more important than the remaining items on the agenda and if so, when will you address the other items?‖ Note: The answer should not be, ―To keep going until all the items are completed.‖ 3) Never-Ending Discussions i) Information Barriers Sometimes a discussion will not come to closure, usually because of information that is insufficient, inaccurate, or unreliable. Sometimes a topic leads to significant emotional reactions. (1) Follow the same guidelines under ―Staying on Time‖ it may be that there is insufficient valid information to progress, in which case the team should park the item for another meeting. If the remainder of the meeting is dependant on the completion of this item, then re-schedule the meeting with action items to ensure that participants bring whatever is required next time. ii) Personal Agenda or ―Hobby Horse‖ Whenever a topic comes up, an individual may begin to recount the same war stories, etc. You can often tell by reading the faces of the other participants (look for rolling eyes). The individual, often oblivious of the reactions of others, settles into the story. (1) Gentle interruption: Once you‘ve determined that an individual is in a familiar story mode, and what‘s being said does not appear to contribute to the item under discussion, gently interrupt him to ask, ―Bob, excuse my interruption, but I‘m not sure how this fits with our topic. Can you clarify for me?‖ (2) Direct the inquiry: Make eye contact with Bob and ask, ―This sounds to me like familiar turf, is this a recurring theme?‖ Then make eye contact with the other participants. At this point Bob will usually ‗fess up‘ that this is either a war-story that everyone has heard, or a favourite ‗complaint.‘ Acknowledge him, ask what key piece of the discussion he would like to be captured, and then move on. (3) Personalize the request: ―Bob, we agreed that this item would remain parked (or off-topic), has anything changed its status?‖ iii) It is unlikely that a person will continue raising the issue. In the event that he does. (1) Firmly restate the request: You can restate the intervention comments under either 2 or 3 and that should allow the group to continue forward without using valuable time. iv) In the rare case where the individual cannot let go. (1) Talk to him privately at break: Give feedback (gently) about the effect his behaviour is having on the group and the session. Ask for his help in keeping the session moving forward. 4) Conflict: Personal Attacks a) Individual Attacked i) A group member takes ―pot shots‖ at other team members. For the example, Bill is taking ‗shots‘ at Joe. (1) Apply gentle humour: If you don‘t know this team or the individuals, observe Joe‘s reaction and Bill‘s demeanour and body language. Say nothing the first time unless you are sure that it was intentional, or make light of the first occurrence: ―I hope that comment isn‘t an indication that we need armour for this meeting.‖ ii) Bill takes another shot (1) Restate the ground rules: Make eye contact with Bill and say, ―Our ground rules clearly state that….We welcome all ideas, comments that build or clarify ideas etc., but not negativity.‖ iii) Once again, Bill aims another sarcastic or belittling remark at Joe (1) Confront Bill directly: firm words, supportive tone and stance. ―Bill, this is not the first time that you have targeted Joe with your remarks, please stop.‖ Then redirect him with ―What is the concern you have with the issue/idea? How would you modify it to improve it?‖ iv) Bill persists with comments aimed at Joe (1) Gentle, public reprimand: In a gentle tone say, ―Bill despite my reminders, you continue to make critical comments towards Joe‘s ideas. If there is a personal disagreement between the two of you, it is inappropriate to play it out here. Can you participate in this meeting productively or is there another issue which needs to be addressed before the team can continue?‖ (This gives Bill the opportunity to bow out of the meeting. If he chooses to leave, ask the team if they can continue without him). The same intervention could be made one-to-one with Bill at break. b) Group Attacked i) Bill is taking pot shots at everyone. (1) Apply gentle humour: If you don‘t know this team or the individuals, observe their reactions and Bill‘s demeanour and body language. Say nothing the first time unless you are sure that it was intentional, or make light of the first occurrence: ―I hope that comment isn‘t an indication that we need armour for this meeting.‖ ii) Bill takes another shot (1) Restate the ground rules: Make eye contact with Bill and say, ―Our ground rules clearly state that….We welcome all ideas, comments that build or clarify ideas etc., but not negativity.‖ iii) Bill continues. At this point he has made several remarks to various group members and you have redirected his comments and reminded him of the ground rules. (1) Address problem directly: ―Bill you have made several negative comments to group members. Is there something else going on that is interfering with your ability to participate here today?‖ Or throw it to the team. ―Team, how do you feel when Bill makes this type of comment?‖ (2) Personal Confrontation: If the attacks continue and the group is reluctant to say anything to Bill when discussed as in 3 above, then speak to Bill at break as in Step 4 above. 5) Returning From Breaks i) Team members are late returning from breaks. (1) Light reminder: ―Remember, you agreed to return from breaks on time because it helps you finish on time, it‘s one of your ground rules.‖ Just before the next break remind the team to be back on time, and advise them of when that is. You may want to lighten the tone by suggesting that you all synchronize your watches while whistling the tune to Mission Impossible. ii) Team members are chronically late returning from breaks. If it is the same members each time then remind them when they return. (1) Ask for input: ―Out of curiosity, why do you have a ground rule that says return from breaks on time, and yet consistently several people are late returning from break each time? What do we need to do for this to work?‖ Facilitate a discussion around the ground rule and expectations – perhaps there aren‘t enough breaks, or they are too short, members may need some flexibility from time to time to accommodate other needs – build it into the schedule at the start of the meetings. 6) Show-offs i) People are against; they want to show they are clever , better ... (1) You have to find a consensus. You cannot lead the discussion if even one person is against. (a) Ask questions: Will you agree on this step…? Can you live with this position…? Are you comfortable with that…? (b) Summarise all steps till that moment ―As for now we reached that. Where does it lead us…?‖ (c) Ask a clarifying question ―What precisely does this decision mean to us?‖ (d) Return to agreed rules ―we agreed to put focus on that point‖ ii) People are too active, they talk to much to show they are the leaders (1) Allow other person to save face. Acknowledge the other person's point of view and he value of their concerns. (2) Refer to ground rules. If you have established ground rules and participants have agreed to uphold the ground rules, you can now use them to encourage the kind of participation needed. ("Let's remember the ground rule of sharing the floor with other participants.") Even though the list includes the most popular problems it is by no means exhaustive. You can never predict all peculiarities of your TF. So, use this appendix only as a flexible guide and try to be creative in your own work. Appendix D What makes a good facilitator? Effective working teams do not just happen. Assembled groups of individuals become productive teams only when there is commitment to the facilitating process. And the process requires organisation, planning and multitude of skills. An effective facilitator is more than a discussion leader. He or she encourages all team members to participate and helps to focus the team’s discussion to solve challenging problems. A facilitator is a person that knows group mechanisms and supports somebody’s learning by inspiring and asking right questions, not giving answers... We consider team as a collection of people who rely on co-operation, trust and communication to achieve their goals and objectives. We can describe a facilitator as an individual who is responsible for structuring teams, groups or task forces, and providing activities for their success in attaining organisational goals and objectives. Facilitators are primarily organisers and communicators with special eexperienceertise in group dynamics. They ensure there is a culture of two-way eexperienceressive involvement that emphasises active listening as well as trusting communication among the participants. They are encouragers of team behaviour in planning, organising, disciplining and monitoring the team’s activities. They must have patience, tolerance for ambiguity, and the need to develop a sense of timing in knowing when to push for more ideas, more information and more participation, and – equally important – when not to push. Finally, they should have the ability to organise, handle details and bring events to a conclusion. Below you can find a list of desirable facilitative behaviour factors: Knowing how to ask questions Recording the members’ responses Planning for a team meeting Being an active listener Knowing how to use a flip chart Remaining neutral on content issues Encouraging open communication Encouraging team-problem solving Knowing how to lead using group problem-solving tools Encouraging team decision making Sensitivity to capturing and maintaining documentation Clarifying, sharing and disseminating information Maintaining team focus Giving verbal and written feedback Communicating thoughts and feelings clearly Developing a culture of teamwork Obtaining team resources Striving for consensus decision making Tolerating and smoothing conflict Experienced facilitators will tell you that the greatest and most important tool in successful facilitation is gaining involvement and participation of the group members. On every stage of team‘s development, involvement is an essential element. The team‘s level of involvement will depend on several factors including the creation of a climate of trust and openness to help the teamwork more effectively as it matures. In addition, the facilitator is typically responsible for the structure of team meeting, including room arrangements, supplies, refreshments, meeting notification and agenda. Carefully planned and prepared meetings greatly enhance the team‘s productivity, poorly facilitated meetings result in boredom, frustration and indifference. Finally, it is important that as a facilitator you continue to learn and practice new techniques. Keep a meeting evaluation form, and have participants fill it out anonymously. Review the responses, and incorporate specific suggestions. If you do not want to use a written meeting evaluation, then set aside a few minutes at the end of each meeting to ask the participants about what meeting processes worked, and what did not. Ask for suggestions to improve the meeting process for the next time. Appendix E A Word on Taking Notes One of the keys to meeting success is managing the information that the participants are dealing with and producing. It is up to the facilitator to make sure that everyone hears, sees, and understands what is presented, what is offered, what is going on, what is agreed to, and that work products and decisions are accurately captured. One way to do this is to keep a running memory. The running memory is a consciousness thread used to keep individuals focused and working on one thing in a logical sequence. Running memory is the documentation you post on the walls or otherwise collect where everyone can see it. It is where you keep all comments, ideas, discussion, agreements, thoughts, votes, and decisions, so each person can see ―what we're talking about now.‖ Running memory can be kept on flip charts on an easel, butcher paper covering the walls, chalk or dry erase boards, electronic documents projected on a screen, or shared materials using web-based virtual meeting tools. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages in terms of setup, handling, and the amount of memory visible at one time, keeping pages in order, and transcription. Find the tool that works best for you, the participants and your environment. Then practice with the mechanics (posting flip charts, copying the dry-erase board, dealing with the technology of web-based tools) until the medium doesn't get in the way of your facilitation. Ten Basics of Managing Data 1. Write it down and hang it on the wall. 2. Work on one issue at a time. Let the group choose and word the issue. Write it down and hang it on the wall. 3. Agree on how to work on that issue. Tap the group wisdom for how to work before offering your own process. Write it down and hang it on the wall. 4. When someone offers an idea, write it down and hang it on the wall. If they offer it repeatedly, point to where it is written down and hanging on the wall. 5. If someone attacks a person for a "dumb" idea, ask them where the idea is written down and hung on the wall. Move to it. Move the discussion to the idea, away from the person who offered it. If additions, qualifications, clarifications, or pros and cons are offered, write it down and hang it on the wall. 6. When the group is discussing, voting on, or coming to consensus around a solution, write it down and hang it on the wall. 7. When the group moves away from the agreed-to issue, go to where you wrote it down and hung it on the wall, call their attention to it, and give them the choice to change the issue, go back to the one they agreed to, show how this one affects the one they agree to, or put a time limit on the digression. Whatever they decide, write it down and hang it on the wall. 8. When the group moves away from the agreed-to process, go to where you wrote it down and hung it on the wall, call their attention to it, and give them the choice to change the process, go back to the one they agreed to, show how this one affects the one they agree to, or put a time limit on the digression. Whatever they decide, write it down and hang it on the wall. 9. When someone says, "We ought to ______," find out who will. Write it down and hang it on the wall. 10. Before breaking up, find out when the group will get back together. Write it down and hang it on the wall. Some facilitators use a recorder or scribe to keep running memory (When used with an electronic tool, the recorder is sometimes called a technographer). This frees the facilitator to focus on group dynamics, traffic control, staying on topic, meeting process, honouring agreements about working together (ground rules/group norms), and other aspects of facilitation. Other facilitators prefer to have more control of what is recorded, and wield the marker (or keyboard) themselves. Recording the right things at the right level of detail, summarizing without changing essential words, and knowing when to check back with the speaker are all skills that require practice, and for some people, just don't fit with how they process information. Consider using a recorder, but make sure you know who it is and are comfortable working with them. If you are not using an electronic medium for the running memory, you may wish to have a scribe capturing the information as you go. Scribing is an art form that is very similar to recording. The same precautions about choosing a recorder apply to choosing a scribe. The facilitator may decide to scribe to control information flow and discussion. There is no universal rule for taking notes. Some facilitators prefer to note down everything themselves; others work more efficiently if there is someone recording for them. Since it‘s rather hard to distinguish the most important information and effectively note that on paper I‘d advise you to spend some time on practice before the actual TF. Moreover, if it‘s your first TF, you‘d better ask another person to take notes for you: you have to focus on many things you‘ve never experienced before besides taking notes. It‘s a good idea to prepare notes templates before the TF and give them to the note- taker. Those templates may include the exact headings of the activities or important topics within the TF, They will help the note-taker to decide which information is relevant and important. Appendix F Templates 1. Agenda and Evaluation Templates Meeting Agenda Template Meeting Objective: Meeting Location: Date: Time: Attendees: Tasks and Activities: Time Allocation: Eexperienceected Outcome: Warm-up Review Agenda 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Assign Actions Plan Next Meeting Critique Meeting Meeting Preparation: Items/Information to Bring to the Meeting: MEETING EVALUATION Name (optional):__________________ Survey Date ___/___/___ Meeting, Workshop, or Training Received: _____________________________________________________ Facilitator: _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ Group/Department/Team: _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ In an effort to evaluate the meeting process and to continuously improve, we are asking you to please take a few minutes to fill out this survey. Return the survey to the Facilitator. The information will only be reviewed by the Facilitator and will be used to determine the effectiveness of the meeting/ training, the materials provided, and the overall participant experiences to determine what areas can be improved. Please verify that the information you completed above is correct for the Facilitator and Meeting. Rate each category below by marking your response in the appropriate box. Make any comments that you feel are appropriate for each category. Thank you for your time and participation. Facilitator/Trainer knowledge/ability: Excellent Above Average Average Poor Comments: Meeting materials, equipment, & tools: Excellent Above Average Average Poor Comments: Meeting length and pace: Excellent Above Average Average Poor Comments: Overall meeting effectiveness: Excellent Above Average Average Poor Comments: Meeting room: Excellent Above Average Average Poor Comments: On a scale of 1 to 10, rate the group’s enthusiasm, why? What would you change to improve the meeting’s effectiveness, why? FEEDBACK Temaplate Ответь пожалуйста на следующие вопросы. Я постараюсь усовершенствоваться и следующей день будет проведѐн лучше, если ты укажешь на те моменты. Которые показались тебе позитивными или негативными. Если тебе нужно ещѐ место, ты можешь продолжить на обратной стороне. Не ограничивай себя, постарайся быть конструктивным(ой) , чтобы помочь мне улучшиться Спасибо! Как ты оцениваешь проведѐнную подготовку, (Промоушн, материалы). Что можно было сделать лучше? Как разработана аженда? Как было распределено время? Способствовала ли атмосфера твоей плодотворной работе и участию? Насколько мне удавалось исключить посторонние разговоры? Как у меня получалось вести дискуссию ( переходить от одного пункта к другому, останавливать затянувшиеся обжевывания одной и той же темы)? Насколько хорошо проводились записи во время обсуждений? Получилось ли у меня соответствовать аженде Что ты бы мог(ла) посоветовать? Насколько полно тебе удавалось выражать свои мысли? Было ли у тебя достаточно времени на обдумывание ответов, решений и т.п.? Насколько хорошо ты себе представляешь, что мы за сегодня сделали? Насколько чѐтко были сформулированы вопросы и задания? Насколько оправдались твои ожидания? Что тебе больше всего понравилось? Что тебе меньше всего понравилось? Что можно было бы улучшить? Дополнительные комментарии: 2. Project Development Templates Vision Goals Long term Short term 5 Ws Who? What? When? Where? Why? Успех Неудача SWOT Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats Appendix G Instructional Aids-How and When to Use Them The following information is for facilitating in general. However, you may find it useful to read it and choose those aids that are more relevant for your TF. Handouts Uses— • Reinforce or eexperienceand on information shared during the training • Can be used by participants back in their work places as guides or reminders of steps involved or how to do something • Give in-depth information for participants to read during or after the training • Have directions or other information needed for carrying out learning activities during the training • Provide resource lists to use later by participants • Provide information from overhead transparencies or Power Point slides Pros— • Are excellent ways to provide participants with guides, resources, and materials needed back in the work place to be ―job aids‖ and ―memory aids‖. • Cut down on participants having to take extensive notes during the training • Ensure that participants walk away with the key points from the course. • Help ensure that everyone has clear directions for complex training activities Cons— • Can be distracting if participants are reading handouts and not participating in the training, therefore, do not hand them out until you want the participants to use a handout • Can be overused, for example if pages from books are copied instead of a brief summary of key points given to participants • If not to the point, they lose their effectiveness and become rambling Handouts Reminders— • Use an easy to read format, for example, use bulleted items or checklists • Be concise and list key points when possible. Avoid long eexperiencelanations and theory • Leave plenty of white spaces on a page • Make sure the font is easy to read and large enough (no smaller than 12 point) • Use graphics, including tables and grids when appropriate • Use a numbering or colour coded system to easily identify the handouts • Distribute them as needed in the training, one at a time, not all at the beginning of a module Flip Charts Uses— • Can be used during the training to record participants‘ responses to discussion questions • Can be prepared ahead of time to be used during training for sharing information that should be posted throughout the training, such as agendas, course content that will be used several times and referred back to, and activity directions that are complex and have several steps to them Pros— • Are ineexperienceensive visuals • Can be visual cues for the trainer as much as the participants • Are very portable from one site to another • Allows the participants to see others answers to discussion questions and to build upon them • Can post them and refer back to the information later in the training Cons— • Can be time-consuming to record responses unless you learn to record participant responses in concise, one or two words. You can lose the audience if you take too long writing responses • Can be time-consuming to prepare a number of flip charts before the training • Is ineffective in a large room where it cannot be seen in the back of the room Flip Charts Reminders— • Use a subject heading or title and underline it • Use only key words or phrases (Use abbreviations) • Write high on the paper with no more than 6 lines and 7 words per line • Make letters at least 11/2 inches high so it can be seen in the back of a room • Print with simple letters using both upper and lower case letters • Write or draw legibly • Use the darker color markers for lettering for visibility and light colours only for highlighting • Leave a blank sheet as the first page over your prepared flip charts until you want to uncover the first one • Place a sheet underneath the flip chart so it does not bleed through to the next page, or use every other page • Have masking tape handy if you want to hang the flip charts. You can tear off pieces and gently press them to the easel to save time during the class • Place the easel with the flip chart paper in a place that is easy for all participants to see • Do not talk to the flip chart, talk to the participants • Have plenty of flip chart paper and markers available if you have small groups recording their groups‘ responses Overhead Transparencies Uses— • Use to show drawings, charts, or written key points • Should be used instead of flip charts if information is only used once during the training and does not require recording responses Pros— • Can be used in a lighted room • Can be used over and over • Are easy to use, read, store, and transport • Allows participants, as well as trainers to keep on track Cons— • Can get boring if overused and the projector can be noisy • Can be distracting if not placed correctly on the platform • Can limit the movement of the trainer in the room Overhead Transparencies Reminders— • Make transparencies from master copies in Section Four • If using color, make the type dark and the contrast between the background color and the type high • Center information on the transparency • Use frames around the transparencies • Have an extra bulb for the projector close by • Don‘t leave the light on when there is no transparency on the platform; it is distracting and noisy • Use a sheet of paper to cover information until it is discussed • Look at the participants, and not the screen Computer/Power Point The uses, pros, and cons are the same as the overhead projector with these additions— Pros— • Can be saved on a floppy disk and updated as needed. • Are ineexperienceensive, easy to store and transport. • Not as easy to damage as transparencies. Computer/Power Point Reminders— • Always set up ahead of time to be sure everything is working • Bring transparencies just in case the PowerPoint presentation does not work • Face your audience because you can see the slide on your computer screen Videotapes Uses— • Is a way for participants in many classes to hear the same message • Can have an eexperienceert or authority visit and talk with many groups • Can bring a situation into a classroom or tell a visual story Pros— • Is active and shows a situation or circumstance for a class that could not be brought into the classroom in as an effective way • Gives consistent messages to all • Is easy to stop and have discussions or skill practice and then continue • Is easy to play and rewind • Can be used in rooms that are lighted • Is not difficult to find a VCR player and monitor in most facilities Cons— • Are usually eexperienceensive and time-consuming to design and make • Can become outdated and cannot be easily changed • Must be realistic and relevant to the participants and the training Videotapes Reminders— • Always preview the video before every training program making sure you are familiar with the content, and how it relates to the learning objectives • Learn how to start and stop the tape on the machine you will be using in the class before the class begins • Advance the tape so the title or beginning scene is showing when the equipment is turned on • Make sure the monitor is large enough and in a good position in the room for all to see • Explainwhat the participants will be seeing and what to look for on the videotape • Lead a discussion according to the course design after the viewing of the video and summarize the key points with the participants Should you have any other questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. All the best, Olga Kuznetsova.
"Task Force Task Force"