Friday, April 27, 2007

"How Are You Doing?" Questions

When you are facilitating a meeting, it's a good idea to periodically ask "How are you doing?" questions.

Some meeting participants have a lot to say but keep quiet, because they don't feel "safe". All of the participants who are vocal may agree on something, making those who disagree reluctant to share their contrary opinions.

One of a meeting facilitator's responsibilities is to make all participants feel safe. How about asking:
What's up, Paul? Do you have any thoughts to contribute?
or
It seems we have a lot of agreement that . . . . How about some contrary opinions? What do you think, Jane? How about you, Justin?
Monitor the participation and body language of the meeting attendees. Proactively solicit contributions from those who aren't participating or who look like they have something to say.

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