But it’s just a meeting

In my facilitation courses I introduce students to all sorts of tools to make their meetings more stimulating, and more engaging. I have managed to get up to nine headings including items such as checking expectations, changing pace, framing the culture, shifting the levels of interaction (individual, pair, small group, plenary), structured stimulus activities. Specific ideas underneath these headings include stand-u
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Dealing with difficult people

When times get tough… While there are some toxic people in the world – people who will disrupt or sabotage a meeting under any circumstances – these are rare. Most ‘difficult’ people are difficult for a reason.  In the most basic terms, they expect or experience not being heard.  Returning to the opening page of this book (’Thinking big and thinking simple’),  they come into a conversation unable to
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Management myths

Authenticity is a myth, planning is abstract idealism, facilitation is a fool’s game, and don’t even mention mindfulness. As a natural-born masochist, I enjoy having my assumptions shattered. That’s what I do in my spare time. So a few months ago I went to a two day workshop on Complexity Science. Searching for interesting approaches to dialogue and meaningful conversations, I had fallen upon Ralph Stacey’s assertion
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There are only three types of meetings in the whole wide world

There are only three types of meetings in the world and here is why. I invite you to join me in a bold exercise to get clarity and simplicity into the craft of meeting design. How do you create an appropriate agenda for diverse circumstances? If you haven’t go the patience to work through the steps with me, just skip to the table at the end of this blog. Dorothy Strachan, in her excellent book on Process Design for f
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What we learn from Tolstoy

In Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace, Pierre returns a changed man, after nearly being executed by the French. “There was a new feature in Pierre’s relations with Willarski, with the princess, with the doctor, and with all the people he now met, which gained for him the general goodwill. This was his acknowledgement of the impossibility of changing a man’s convictions by words, and his recognition of the poss
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Courage and Renewal

  At 9am on a Sunday morning, in front of a group of new acquaintances, I was shedding quiet tears. From a bluetoothed ipad, Cat Stevens sang ‘Morning has Broken’ as I regarded a carpet of tree collages on the floor of the meeting room – the product of a workshop exercise the previous day. Let me be clear. I don’t cry in public. I reserve that for movies, in private, about dogs doing something noble. What was I
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