At Trepwise, we emphasize a collaborative process to strategic planning. Throughout the journey towards creating a plan, our expert facilitators will convene your team, partners, clients, and/or funders to glean key insights to strategize around. We asked our team what their favorite, go-to facilitation techniques are for collaborative discussion. Below, you will find examples of what to expect when working with Trepwise and get inspiration for strategies to try out with your staff at your next meeting!
Pick a strategic icebreaker question to get your group thinking about the meeting’s objective.Haley, Advisor
Sometimes, icebreakers can be as simple as sharing your favorite dessert. But if you are short on time and you want to get your team energized behind the objective for the day, pick a simple question related your session’s goals. This could be asking participants to share why they love their work or their favorite client success story. Steer clear of anything too challenging and keep it high level for easy answers that get your team thinking in the right direction. Meeting leaders can then build upon responses to dig deeper throughout the session.
Create space for silent reflection so team members can write down their thoughts before sharing with the group.Palmer, Advisor
During a group discussion, it is important to facilitate in a way that gives everyone a chance to share their thoughts. Everyone has different processing styles and allowing time for silent reflection and writing makes a lot of participants more comfortable contributing. It also helps people form their thoughts without getting distracted by other’s ideas.
Give participants a couple journaling prompts a few days ahead of the meeting so people can come prepared with deep thoughts.Lauren, Managing Director
In meetings with a lot of deep content to cover, maximize your time for discussion by sharing key questions beforehand rather than sourcing ideas on the spot. This allows participants the space to truly engage with the goals of the meeting and do the reflection necessary to contribute effectively to dialogue. Consider comparative exercises for your journaling prompts, such as “if your organization was a boat, what would it look like now and 5 years from now?” With fun metaphors like this, participants have the opportunity to be creative and add detail to their thoughts.
Consider mixing it up with some drawing activities.Derek, Senior Associate
Not everyone on your team will be a confident wordsmith. Create opportunities for different ways of thinking by incorporating drawing activities. Start with a prompt such as, “visualize your ideal day of work and draw out what it looks like.” Give your team a short period of time to doodle out their answers and then either share out their drawings with the whole group or discuss with a partner. Creative approaches like this will encourage different types of thinking and may even bring some laughter to your next team meeting.