Effective Meetings

Virtually every adult visiting this website would probably have attended a meeting that was boring, exceptionally tedious, and downright unproductive.  It could even have been an infuriating waste of your precious time. Most of you will have had to sit through many meetings that fit this description.

Our WorkRFun Meeting Blueprint aim is to dare to challenge the fact that such meetings are against human nature and should not exist.

The Effective Meeting Blueprint, if correctly facilitated, will replacing boring, unproductive meetings with meetings that are, at the very least, interesting and productive.

The wrong way of running meetings

The meeting did not accomplish any of its goals. In fact, the meeting did not have any discernible goals.

You went into the meeting with an idea, feedback or suggestion that you wanted to contribute, but you were unable to get a word in.

The attended the meeting with the perception or inclination that you were interested in the stated topic, but you left the meeting convinced that you were not.

You arrived at the meeting not knowing anyone and you left the gathering still not knowing anyone, even though you spent more than three hours together in the same small room.

In the meeting perhaps, you only learned the other people’s names by chance or maybe you did not even get to learn anyone’s name at all.

The meeting had that no agenda or if there was an agenda the person leading the gathering did not follow the agenda. Or perhaps the meeting was hijacked by someone who had their own agenda.

The meeting was so boring that you were battling to keep your eyes open the whole time.

You wanted movement, some laughter and most importantly you yearned for a human connection of sorts.

How to run a meeting

Meetings that are inclusive, lively, creative and accomplish their goals

Most people that visit our website do so at because they want ideas for icebreakers, fun games or team building activities. Our website is full of great activities ideas. However, do not limit your utilisation of this website to only find more activities.

We suggest that you take the next step as a group facilitator to past icebreakers and other routine activities. Most people think of icebreakers as activities that help people to relax and, in some instances, to get to know each other better at the start of a meeting or event.

The methodology that we teach in our Premium Membership section is so much more that the start of a programme and as a tool to help people relax.

Our methodology is a comprehensive approach to:

  • An interactive structure from the beginning to the end of a meeting.
  • It extends throughout the life of a group.
  • Our methodology has the power to radically transform how a group function.
  • And further heightens the effectiveness of the group’s work together.

Our effective meeting Blueprint will show you how to move in your thinking and your action beyond the limits implied by the word “icebreaker”. Our format will further greatly expand your understanding of the power of group interaction.

This WorkRFun Meeting Blueprint approach to group facilitation will “bring everyone to the table” (and not drag them there in chains) for their ideas and feelings to be expressed and heard, and as a result thereof the group’s goals will be easier to accomplish. Consistent and thoughtful use of the effective meeting Blueprint will transform your world of meetings.

  • Students of The WorkRFun Meeting Blueprint have used the format in countless training sessions with teachers, administrators, police officers, agency board members, and other adults working in various capacities.
  • They have used it in classrooms, staff meetings, board meetings, action-oriented groups, therapy groups, recreational groups, and training sessions of all shapes and forms.
  • They have learned that most of the principles and practices that are effective in engaging teens in important work are also effective with adults.

The format was designed and developed based on the known fact that both adults, the youth and children want to be heard, to feel valued, and possibly even more importantly to have meaningful input into the decisions that affect their professional, academic and personal lives.

All human beings both young and old desire to be part of a community and for to be connected to the people around them in more than only superficial ways.

Both adults, youth and children far too often find themselves at classrooms, lectures and meetings where they feel disconnected, undervalued, isolated, and bored.

Adults and Youth different behavior patterns in conflicts in meetings   

In alienating situations many teenagers will act out in ways that cannot be ignored. Most adults have mostly learned to hide their feelings.

Teenagers often put their heads down on a desk, or possibly get a blank look in their eyes, or in some instances talk with friends in a to disrupts the group.  If the teenagers are requested to attend boring meetings on a regular basis, some teenagers will decide not to come at all.

Conversely, adults will attempt to remain focussed and look like they are interested. If the meeting looks like it is going nowhere and the fact that decisions are not made, if there is no agenda or issues to discuss, or if the meeting is happening but only a few of those attending are dominating the discussion, most adults will however  pay attention if they are able to, or if not at least look like they are paying attention.

Even though most adults have learned the ‘skill’ or the ability to adapt to the bad-meetings that we are accustomed to attend, we have found repeatedly that adults welcome the use of the WorkRFun Meeting Blueprint.

We have seen dramatic increase in the levels of productivity through the consistent use of this meeting format.

Without understanding the principles and learning the methodology, if you were to observe a meeting following the WorkRFun Meeting Blueprint, you may wonder what was going on! You could see 15 adults walking backwards or weaving around each other. You may have the thoughts don’t these people have any work to do or why are they wasting their time with these ridiculous games?

Many people often sit through meetings that are alienating and unfocused, that fail to produce the group’s goals, or only input from the minority of the meetings’ participants.

We invite you to break out of these static and largely unproductive traditional meeting formats and to take on the challenge of going past the old approach. With our proven methodology, you will learn how to create a dynamic group context where the norms are excellent communication, strong and positive motivation, and creative problem solving. The benefits can best be summarized under these four headings:

Effective Meetings are built on Relationships

Groups of people exist for people to be in relationship, and meetings exist for people to come together and create something through their interaction, that could not otherwise have been created. If you accept this view, then you will agree that building relationships is central to the purpose of any meeting.  However, people often leave group meetings knowing little if not nothing about the human beings they have just interacted, or should I rather say, met with.

If any relationship-building happened, it happened despite the meeting structure, not because of it. An interactive approach begins with the need felt by people of all ages and cultures for connection and for active engagement for them. It always includes mechanisms to make sure that the group members are awake and engaged, for the purpose of building relationships and trust as the basis for the work that lies ahead.

A meeting of any kind (whether it is a business workshop or a classroom) where everyone can move, laugh, speak, and share their ideas, is always going to be significantly more interesting and productive than the traditional lecture/Q&A format where few speak and even fewer people really listen.

The skilful use of interactive methods creates a context in which group members get to know each other and have opportunities to participate actively in the group’s work.

Increase the Efficient Meeting by the Group’s understanding of its Mission

When a group faces challenges, as every group will do when they are engaged in constructive and meaningful work, a strong understanding of the group’s goals and the critical belief in those goals will keep those involved in the task at hand.

For a group to function at its most effective position, those people that are part of this group need to be consistently aware of the groups common purpose.

Often, groups start a meeting or sometimes even a project, without clearly stating or discussing their mission. In some instances, groups discuss their mission initially only at the first meeting and then they do not revisit it.  What then happens is that as time passes and people struggle to accomplish their tasks, they could lose sight of the purpose that brought them into the group in the first place. The individual members of the group may find that they are now facing difficult and overwhelming tasks, all without a conscious awareness of the importance of their work.

In addition, the Interactive method provide the mechanisms for group members to explore, on a regular basis, the reasons they are doing their work and why it is important. They provide the members of the group with opportunities to consider and share the experiences, understandings, and commitments that brought them to the group. So therefore, it is vital that the group stays in touch with these fundamental elements. This will help the group in making some difficult decisions and in the process resolve any disagreements.

Dealing with any issues raised and have a Successful Meeting

Agreement is without a doubt intimately related to productivity. When group members are fully behind their group’s decisions, they act on the decisions that they played a role in, with inspiration and dedication. The nett result of this is the group achieving significantly. Conversely, productivity and effectiveness suffer enormously when the group is not united in their chosen course of action.

The tendency of most inexperienced facilitators is to try and get the group to agree as quickly as possible. This is done due to a lack of knowledge and believing that this is the best and therefore most efficient way to work through the decision-making process. The place where the group is ready to act. The agenda is set, and issues positioned in ways that minimize dissension. Furthermore, this method does not try and focus on doubts and questions.

If nobody in the group disagrees then these facilitators assume the group is united behind the proposed course of action. However, these facilitators or leaders do not realise that:

  • In the ‘usual’ group there are always some people that are quiet because they are uncomfortable speaking up
  • There are others in the group that do not speak because they are unsure of their true feelings.
  • And there are even those that may not feel that it is their right or responsibility to contribute their perspective.

Start the Process of Action to get sustainable changes

Facilitators or those leading the discussions will often prefer general agreement, therefore they prefer a lack of dissent.  When a group is at the discussion stage, this approach may at face value seem more efficient and productive. However, this style of facilitation often evolves into a negative productivity when the group attempts to move into action.

The people that had silently disagreed will be mostly uninspired and unmotivated in their tasks and contribution towards work. The silent ones could even passively, or even actively, undermine the group’s work. In the meantime, the leaders will probably not even be aware that there is disagreement and become frustrated by the lack of momentum in the group.

Help the Group clarify their thoughts

The WorkRFun technique helps guide a group toward authentic agreement, by helping people to clarify and articulate their thoughts and feelings.  Group members and participants are usually surprised to find that the interactive exercise uncovers feelings they had not been aware or conscious of. Our meeting style normally prompts ideas about possible solutions to problems that the group is working with.

The Efficient WorkRFun Meeting Blueprint combines this process of discovery with a comfortable environment for speaking up in a group. Our meeting Blueprint brings more voices into the discussion therefore increasing the opportunities for more creative ideas and solutions to the group’s challenges and problems.

Without an interactive interaction, a solid agreement for the group’s goals and activities will not be possible because disagreements and doubts will most likely to be invisible to some members of the group.

With the skilful use of interactive techniques, experienced facilitators can bring out people’s opinions, feelings, and ideas in order that all members of the group have an opportunity to be heard.

The spirit and effectiveness of the group and its ability to achieve its mission will be hugely enhanced by bringing disagreements to the surface and by encouraging all voices.

By using interactive methods thoughtfully and consistently the individuals’ true feelings about the group can be expressed.  Once these issues are acknowledged and worked through this will enable a process for the individuals in the group to build real agreement. This agreement about what the individual is doing and what they should be doing, and to set the stage for powerful and effective group action.

Bring issues to the surface and resolve broken group dynamics

When the tension between the people in the group, general stress, or an individuals’ personal issues or behaviours are impeding the group’s functioning, these items are dealt with most effectively when the group itself, instead of the leader, articulates the problems.

Consider this example. There is a group that includes three people who are dysfunctional in the group context. There can be several reasons for their lack of cohesion, maybe they are unmotivated, perhaps unwilling or unable to listen, maybe they are unwilling to follow through on decisions that the group make, they are disruptive, or perhaps often bringing up side issues. The group also has seven other people that are basically functional in terms of the group dynamics. This group is working on a large project however it is not progressing well.

The risk of the facilitator expresses their view

In this example the leader or facilitator wrongly decides that they must articulate the issues that they see and come up with something along the lines of “You are all not interested and that the important thing that we need to do is not getting done. You are all not being mature or responsible” etc. The opposite of what is meant to happen transpires. The group are not motivated by what the facilitator says. Most groups will respond in some of these ways.

Individuals then fuse together, which creates a wall in direct opposition to the leadership. Now everyone is resisting.  The facilitator has defined the group as having problems, which usually tends to push those attending together, which then place people’s varying degrees of motivation on the same level and this in turn gets everyone on the same ‘incorrect’ position in opposition to the leader or facilitators effort.

Eventually, what then often happens is that the members of the group turn against each other and begin blaming each other for the group’s difficulties. Now even those who were originally motivated to do the work, are distracted by the need to uproot those who are letting the group down.

Or, another likely scenario is that the group is simply unaffected by the facilitator’s talk, which is not connected to the layers of feelings that are preventing some group members from being motivated and acting.

Give the Group the opportunity to work it out themselves

A much more effective approach is to come at the problem indirectly, thereby giving the group the tools to help them recognize the problems by themselves and then articulate what they see.

The Interactive techniques have the power to bring to the surface what is really going on in a group: Issues such as agreement, disagreement, resistance, anger, enthusiasm, pessimism, or personal and interpersonal issues.

By selecting techniques that address the group’s issues in a subtle way, you as the facilitator can create a context for group members to see and talk about the dysfunctional group dynamics in ways that change these dynamics, and furthermore enable and allow the collective group to become more effective and productive in achieving its mission. And furthermore, any problems that hinder the group’s work can best be resolved in an atmosphere and a format, where everyone’s voice is heard.

The solutions to sometimes even ‘perceived’ problems often lie in the authentic voices of group members, and interaction is the tool that can free up those voices to speak.

Sometimes some carefully chosen techniques help facilitate a meeting

What sometimes happens is the issue is outside of the group (such as an individual dealing with a family or other personal issue) will be affecting the group’s progress, some carefully chosen interactive techniques can bring the situation to the surface in the most appropriate way.

Once a personal issue is brought to light, the groups understanding, sincere empathy, and assistance could well be available to assist the problem. This is in stark contrast to any anger and sever frustration that some of the immature or non-perceptive group members could have been feeling toward the ‘dysfunctional’ person.

A great Meeting Tip

The simple knowledge of the problem will be helpful to the group’s functioning going forward, even if the other members of the group are not able to do anything to help in any way.

A good example is that if one of the group members is moody and no one knows the reason why, naturally every person in that group will form an opinion, and in most instances those opinions will be very far from the truth. Some members of the group will take the moodiness personally (“thinking that they must be upset with me for some or other reason”) while others will be angry with them (“thinking what is their problem!”), whereas in this example the moodiness has nothing to do with anyone in the group, and is only a typical reaction to that person’s situation.

So therefore, when the actual source of the problem is not known and there are no or insufficient communication channels between the rest of the group and the moody person, the group and that individual will suffer.

A skilled facilitator can use the interactive techniques to assist the moody person see that their own behavior is affecting the entire group. The facilitator will also guide the moody person to take the appropriate steps to remedy the situation

In this instance the moody person is given a supportive context to explain their problems, or to verbalize that they have things on their mind that have nothing to do with the anyone else or the group. Just by doing this, the dysfunctional impact of their mood on the group will be minimized. It gets even better, this communication could provide opportunities for some of the members of the group to support this person which, in the context of the group, helps the individual to participate meaningfully in the group once more.