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Agile Notes (No. 62)
Questions for Guerilla Facilitation and Collaboration
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This week, we continue with Collaboration Explained by Jean Tabaka. We are moving on to Chapter 19: Guerilla Collaboration.
This week’s capture is a big one but it also summarizes all of the key concepts/tools of the book! Here is the blueprint for getting meaningful results from your meetings and helping your team progress from Forming to Performing.
Every meeting must have an agenda. I love her guidance for what to do when you receive an invite without an agenda, Tabaka recommends asking, “Are there any items I need to read or prepare prior to the meeting in order to be prepared?”
Every meeting must have a purpose. Why are we meeting? Do we have the right people? Do they know what they are expected to contribute to the meeting?
Maintain a list of Action Items. I am moving this one up as I think it is critical. Remember, Action Items must have an owner (who must be present to accept it) and a due date.
Maintain a Parking Lot for conversations that are not specific to the agenda/purpose. Meetings go off on tangents. Using a Parking Lot helps to get meetings back on track. Make sure the Team agrees with putting items in the Parking Lot. It should not be one person making the decision.
A technique that goes along with using a Parking Lot is recognizing when meetings get off track and asking: “Is this discussion still around the purpose of the meeting?” Don’t be a jerk about it though. :) Sometimes we discover something different we need to discuss BEFORE we get to the current topic. Sometimes we need to fully re-set, take a pause and even set up a separate meeting. It’s ok.
One of the techniques not captured in the grab above is to ask for a time check. This helps everyone re-focus on how they are using this meeting time. Are they addressing the purpose of the meeting? Are they working through the agenda items?
Lastly, Tabaka returns to perhaps the greatest tool in her toolbox: Using questions to seek clarification. Read the room. Is everyone engaged? How’s the mood? Are we having healthy discussion or are we arguing? Is the team participating in “collaborative participatory decision making?”
How about you? Have you found success using these tools? Are you seeing challenges with getting your Team to collaborate?
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