You’re getting ready to lead a workshop and you anticipate having to manage some tricky situations with participants: What if a participant monopolizes the floor? Someone is on their cellphone during the conversation? A participant is talking to their neighbour? Someone doesn’t utter a single word the whole time? You run out of time to address all the topics that need to be discussed? We could keep going. While it’s difficult to prevent 100% of these occurrences, there’s a way to avoid most of them, and help you intervene easily if things take a wrong turn: establishing success factors, and making the group accountable for upholding them.
Depending on your relationship with the group, and of the issues you anticipate during the workshop, there are several options available to you when it comes to proactively managing the atmosphere in which you’ll work. Hence this tool!
- As you’re launching the meeting, once the goals and the sequence have been presented to participants, ask them what success factors should be put in place so that the goals of the workshop can be met within the time available (the latter having been agreed upon previously).
- Talking about success factors, rather than rules, is much more positive and empowering. Faced with rules, some participants are inclined to break them just for the sake of doing so!
- As the leader of the workshop, you have a greater role to play in establishing the proper atmosphere, even if the whole group is accountable. You’re embodying what you’re hoping to see happen during the workshop.