This is for anyone who needs to guide groups towards a positive outcome - the sales person leading a client meeting, the project leader hosting the check-in call, the engineer facilitating a kick off meeting, etc. If you ever wonder after a meeting, “Did that go well?” or “How did I do?” here's the truth:

1. You’re focusing too much on your subject matter expertise

Don’t get us wrong - subject matter expertise is often necessary and your credibility rests on it. It’s just not enough to create an engaging experience. Broaden your preparation by putting yourself in our shoes. Prepare questions that will draw us out. Think about how you deliver your message. It’s just as important as what you say.

2. Listen with empathy

When we feel heard and understood, it sends the subtle signal that it’s safe to be real and candid. We’re much more likely to continue to speak and to engage in conversation. Listen to the spoken and unspoken and support us where we are.

3. Tell more stories

Stories are sticky. They help us remember more details and they resonate with us on a deeper level. And when you tell a story about your personal experience, we connect with you. Some of the best stories are the ones where you made a mistake. Being vulnerable sends the message that it’s ok to not be perfect, especially when learning something new.

4. Be flexible

We get that you have an agenda and objectives to meet, but sometimes it’s not completely aligned with the energy of the group. Meet us where we’re at and be willing to stay on our track, not just yours.

5. Be yourself

We don’t expect you to have all the answers. Be open to discovering along with us. Tell us when you don’t know and let us see who you really are. It’s the connection you create with us that will keep us engaged and interested.

Therese Miclot is Proteus' Director of Facilitation Excellence. She delivers – and teaches others to deliver – dynamic, interactive, world-class learning experiences. Her ability to build facilitation skills is grounded in a practical approach which results in increased capability, confidence, and improved results in any situation where facilitation matters. Proteus