~ By Dana Brownlee
The Problem: Do you ever feel that you're herding a group of feisty cats instead of leading a meeting because your team members simply can't agree? Well, take comfort in knowing that this common problem plagues most meeting facilitators at one point or another. Indeed, if your group is disagreeing vehemently (but respectfully), that's a sign of healthy conflict, congratulations, you're likely on your way to some great ideas and solutions! Unfortunately as meeting facilitators, we often need to guide the group towards a consensus decision and oftentimes that just doesn't seem possible. The good news is that reaching a consensus decision does not mean that a two hour session must turn into a two week session, or worse, a real knock down drag out. Let's explore a few tips you can use the next time you're faced with this situation.
Consider these suggestions:
Dana Brownlee is President of Professionalism Matters, Inc. a boutique professional development corporate training firm. Her latest publications are "Are You Running a Meeting or Drowning in Chaos?" and "5 Secrets to Virtually Cut Your Meeting Time in Half!" She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org