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Facilitation The TAB Facilitation Process and Techniques

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Facilitation Process and Techniques 5/09

FacilitationThe TAB Facilitation Process and TechniquesQuestion for Group Tell me:Your name,Where you are from and,Your experience of facilitation and/or training.

If I ask you to tell me the difference between facilitation and training, what comes to mind?Facilitation engages the group in their own learning and discovery process.Training generally involves a teacher providing information to a group.

TAB will require both skills at different times, and it will be slightly different from facilitating a team or employee group. TAB has structured its process to meet the unique needs of TAB Boards in order to help you have more consistent success.The Art of FacilitationAt the conclusion of this module you will know:The TAB board meeting structure.How to integrate new members.How to maintain the vitality of your boards.How the first board meeting is different.How to manage the boards group dynamics .Identify signs of resignation and what to do.This segment of the training will walk you through the structure of a TAB meeting, describe the unique processes for your first TAB Board Meeting, provide a basic understanding of the key group processes that will influence your TAB Boards, and suggest some ideas to create variety and maintain interest in your meetings.Group and Board Dynamics

Tab Boards function like all small groups and or teams are subject to certain predictable group dynamics. Group Dynamics

A description of group dynamics was first presented by Barry Tuckman in 1965 and is commonly known as the Form, Storm, Norm and Perform model. This model helps us understand the processes that groups experience between their initial formation through the time when they begin to operate most effectively. Your Boards will undergo these phases as they initially come together.Forming In this phase the members are getting to know one another and beginning to determine what is safe.Storming In this phase the members begin to form the hierarchy or pecking order. It is characterized by testing and challenging behaviors that may occasionally look like conflict. The challenging behavior will lead to trust if allowed expression without personal attack. If the challenging and conflict are suppressed, the members will not form the trust that will allow them to move into the norming and performing phases.The Form and Storm phases require higher structure and group agreements about how to resolve conflict and work together. The structure is provided by the TAB meeting process and formal discussion of the TABenos process covered later in this presentation. Whenever new members are added to a Board there is likelihood that the group will cycle back through the phases until they settle into a new norm and perform process. You will need to ensure structure is provided to help the Board move through its process.As a Board works together over time it may become somewhat self governing.


In order to introduce the concept and value of a safe environment for boards to operate, TAB has adopted the story of a Greek myth to discuss the benefits of opening up to Board discussions without defensiveness. You should become familiar with this mythical story in order to introduce it to your members. This is a facilitated process you should introduce to your boards at the second or third meeting. You should also have a TABenos conversation with each new member you add to your Board. You will find many of your members enjoy the process and introduce to their own companies.Have a flip chart ready for this exercise or set it up on your computer with your projection system. Engage the members in the discussion and allow them to explore the concept by facilitating the discussion. First tell the story of TABenos, then facilitate the discussion by engaging the members in the process. In order to prepare for this facilitation and the types of responses you can expect, look at the TABenos pages in the first section of the TAB Member Binder you provide to your members. There you will find many of the responses that have come from boards in the past.Story:The word Temenos means sanctuary in Greek. The Greek myth tells about an island where warriors, even from warring tribes, could go to take off their armor and feel safe from attack. TAB has taken this Temenos myth and called it TABenos.The TAB process for facilitating this discussion is described on the following slides.TABenos Guard

Cover the TABenos list with all new board members.Appoint a TABenos guard at every meeting.For future meetings you can type a list of the results and hand the list out to each member and each new member.At each TAB Board Meeting you may assign a TABenos guard. This person will call people when they use their armor.

You will go over the TABenos concept and questions with each new member in the coaching session before they attend their first Board Meeting.You may want to re-visit the TABenos concept with your boards periodically.

Remember, the questions and a compiled list of answers is contained in the first section of the TAB Member Binder.The TAB Meeting Process

The TAB meeting process will provide the necessary structure to the group and make your preparation for meetings easier.

Days to Hold TAB MeetingsSunMonTuesWedThursFriSat12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031= Best DaysWhen you start your first board there are some things to consider: The first board meeting needs to be set on a date that the greatest number of initial Board Members can attend. At the first meeting the Board will then determine their regularly scheduled meeting date and time.The recommended schedule is designed to help ensure maximum attendance and eliminate excuses for missing meetings. Your members will never be as committed to attendance as you are.The middle 2 weeks of the month and Tuesday through Thursday are the best dates to choose for ongoing meeting dates. Wednesday or Thursday of the first week also are possibilities. Why do you think these dates work best?This schedule ensures the greatest probability of attendance. It will avoid virtually all holidays and the business conflicts that accompany Mondays, Fridays and the first and last week of the month.TAB conferences, facilitator calls and other activities are also scheduled around these times.The meetings should be scheduled to start early in the mornings ( 7:30 9:00 am) to avoid the problem of members going into the office and getting stuck with a project or problem.Starting after 9:00 am can include a working lunch. There is one board that meets at 5:00pm, it is made up of smaller companies that feel the late start does not interfere with the operation of their business.Hosting a Board MeetingMembers take turns hosting board meetings:At their locationAt a nearby locationAt another members locationHosts provide the refreshments.Hosts conduct a tour of their facilities. You may find that members with smaller businesses some may not have meeting facilities and one or two members hold the meetings at their location more frequently.All members should share responsibility for providing refreshments so the burden doesnt fall on the members with meeting facilities. If a member is hosting for the first time, they will give a tour of their business.Even members without meeting facilities should provide a tour of their business at least once.

Meeting HandoutsMeeting agendaRoster of current membersMeeting evaluation formName tags or tentsTABenos listOther information for the meetingPrivate coaching session calendarMeeting calendarHandouts that should be distributed at each meeting include:Agenda Identifying the major topics and if there are any guests, new members, tours, etc.Roster of current members. When a new board is forming or a new member is joining the list of names and businesses will be helpful until members get to know one another.Meeting Evaluation FormName tags or name tents. This will help members with names as they get to know one another and will be necessary when new members or guests are attending the meeting.Any other handouts or information you will use for the meeting.You will also want to pass around your Private Coaching Session Calendar to get everyone to sign up at the meeting. It will make your life much easier if you get sign ups in the meeting. Your time is valuable. The private coaching calendar is the way you can control your time investmentSchedule as many Coaching Sessions in one week as possible.Make the week of Coaching Sessions close to the next Board Meeting so you can help the members prepare for the meeting.

The Meeting AgendaOpeningBrief updatesMember presentations of challenges and opportunities in time slices PresentGet clarificationExplore possibilitiesCommon topic (optional)ClosingThe typical meeting agenda and process will follow the outline on this slide.We will go over each of these segments in more detail in the following slides.Meeting OpeningStart on Time Start at the announced time!Start even with one member.Always come prepared with a topic for discussion until the majority of members are in attendance. Read from the Tips from the Top newsletter.Bring an article on a business topic.Plan up to fifteen minutes on a topic.The meeting must always start at the announced time, even with one member present.If members get used to showing up late, the problem will only grow.If you start on time, members who show up late will be aware that the meeting has started without them and they missed something.Always come prepared with a topic for discussion until the majority of members are in attendance. Suggested discussion topics include:Ideas from Tips from the TopBusiness articles in magazines, audio tapes, etc.Plan up to fifteen minutes until a majority of members are present.

Meeting OpeningConfidentialityEmphasize at every meeting. Members welcome hearing this reinforced.Guests sign a non-disclosure agreement.Avoid mentioning issues or stories of members on other boards by name or other identification.Relate insightful issues that require openness and honesty about yourself.You lead the way!The need for confidentiality should be emphasized at every meeting. Every member should welcome the opportunity to hear this basic rule reinforced.Whenever a guest or non-member attends a TAB Meeting, the guest must sign a non-disclosure agreement.It is a good idea to have the guest sign the agreement at the beginning of the meeting in front of the members present. This process reinforces your commitment to Confidentiality.

Meeting OpeningTime Slice

Allow 40 minutes for opening, break, and closing. Divide balance of time by # of members present.Verify time allotted is sufficient. If any member needs extra time, ask for 1-3 minutes from each.The Time Slice is an important process for running the meetings:Deduct about 40 minutes from each meeting to cover start time, break time, and wind-up. Allowing 240 minutes for a 4 hour meeting, will leave you 200 minutes.Deduct additional time for the initial update and plant tours, guest speakers, Member Spotlight, etc. Divide the remaining minutes by the number of members present, for example - 10 members each get 20 minutes. Seven members each get about 28 minutes.Allow an additional 2 3 minutes to transfer from one to another because they dont always finish exactly when time is up.Remember that your prime responsibility is to the whole board and to see that everyone gets a similar Time Slice.Brief Updates

Each member gives a two minute overview of what has happened in their business since the last board meeting. Begin the meeting by having each member give a 2 - 3 minute overview of what has happened in their business since the last board meeting.This will warm the board up and help prevent wool gathering when they present their challenge or opportunity later.You can introduce this segment in a variety of ways, eg. - What positive has happened to you in the last month?- What good news has happened to you in the last month?- Give us a brief update on changes in your business since the last meeting.Members PresentationProcess OverviewMember presents a challenge or opportunity.Other members ask clarifying questions.Together members explore possibilities.Facilitator adds input, concludes and summarizes.There is a structured process to follow in the member presentation.Business owners have a tendency to jump to solutions and advice very quickly. Advice isnt easily digested and accepted until we have a sense of trust that the person giving the advice truly understands.

The TAB process involves clarifying questions and is discussed in more detail in the following slides.Members PresentationChallenge or OpportunityHave members present their challenge or opportunity.You should know their topic from your coaching sessions or a phone call.They may change the topic based on a more urgent situation.Know that any member will periodically bring a topic to the meeting that you are unaware of and that is different from the topic discussed in your Coaching Session. Be prepared to guide the discussion around what the member needs.Members PresentationClarificationThe other members ask questions to clarify the challenge or opportunity. Industry jargon may need interpretation or clarification.History or relationships may need to be understood.What have you done so far? Questioning helps get to the real issue.

Business owners often want to drive directly to solution without a complete understanding of the issues and relationships. The TAB process suggests that a specific part of the process include clarification questions.Encourage the other members to ask questions to clarify the challenge or opportunity. Members may use industry jargon in their presentation. Set the example by getting the member to define the jargon (even if you know what they mean).You may need to ask about the relationships or history.Dont assume that the way they define the issue is the real issue or problem.

Members PresentationExplore PossibilitiesBegin by acknowledging those who have suggestions.Then call on all the others, time permitting.Be sure to call on the quiet ones.Some of the suggestions may need clarification.Exploring possibilities is more useful than giving advice. You will need to model this process.Ask questions such as what have you tried? Open the discussion by asking what possibilities others see, or asking if they have ever had a similar situation.Begin acknowledging those who have suggestions.Consider a go around to ask for input from everyone if certain members are reluctant to give suggestions.Clarify the suggestions, if necessary.Ask about what resources the member will need.

Members PresentationFacilitator InputAdd to the discussion only after all members have contributed if:Further clarification of an issue is needed.You have additional input.The goal is to seek breadth and diversity of ideas from the board.Speak from your own experience whenever possible.As consultants you may need to sit on your hands if you know the solution. If you jump in and solve problems the members will not participate and you will begin losing members.Add to the discussion after all members have contributed, if further clarification of an issue is needed or you feel you have additional advice.The goal is to seek breadth and diversity of ideas from the board.Speak from your own experience whenever possible.It is the Members and your best interest that the Board provide value and that you encourage relationships between Board Members.

Members PresentationFacilitator InputLessons Learned

As consultants you may need to sit on your hands if you know the solution. If you jump in and solve problems the members will not participate and you will begin losing members.Add to the discussion after all members have contributed, if further clarification of an issue is needed or you feel you have additional advice.The goal is to seek breadth and diversity of ideas from the board.Speak from your own experience whenever possible.It is the Members and your best interest that the Board provide value and that you encourage relationships between Board Members.

Members PresentationBringing to ConclusionWhen the members time is coming to an end:Say, We have time for one more answer or suggestion. Announce that you are running out of time and would like to summarize the results of the topic at hand.This is the time when having a time keeper watching the time is useful. You or they need to signal the presenter when there are about 5 minutes left.Remind a member that his/her time is coming to an end. Say, We have time for one more answer or suggestion. Announce that you are running out of time and would like to summarize the results of the topic at hand.Members PresentationSummarize & CloseAt the close of each members time:Summarize or ask the member to summarize the results of the discussion. Help the member have a clearer understanding of thoughts or ideas presented to them. Ask the member how he/she feels about the discussion. Ask for commitment to action.Point out valuable conclusions for other members use.

At the close of each members time, Summarize the results of the discussion. This will help the member whose topic it is to have a clearer understanding of thoughts or ideas presented to them. Ask the member how he/she feels about the discussion. You may even ask each member to summarize their own topic.Provide a handout for taking notes and encourage them to take notes on the suggestions and their promises.Consider asking for a commitment to action and ask them to note what they will do.Take notes on what the members promise so you can remind them at the next coaching session what they are going to do.

Agenda ControlIf the meeting is moving away from the agenda, bring everyone back to the original discussion.If the change of direction appears to be a topic of interest to the board, announce the direction change and ask their approval to:Continue on the new direction.Spend time on the topic later in the meeting. Spend time on the topic at next meeting.

It is your responsibility to keep the meeting focused on the topic under discussion. It is also your responsibility to ensure that each member gets full value out of their Time Slice.

Taking Notes

Take facilitator notes at each TAB Meeting.Do not share your notes with the members.Notes must be taken by the Facilitator at each TAB Meeting.Notes should not be distributed to the members.Notes should focus on the topics presented, any suggestions made and any promises to take action.Notes are useful to capture Tips from the Top for later write up.Reasons for not distributing notes to others include:You cannot ensure that all members will safeguard notes in their place of business with the same care that you will.The notes may contain confidential information that the members would not want available outside the meeting.Notes can be subpoenaed if the member should become party to litigation.Handing out notes will create additional work for you,

Closing the TAB MeetingCompliment members on their participation.Make sure all members have scheduled a time for their coaching session on your schedule.Always conduct the TAB Go Around.Ask each member what he/she got out of the meeting.Leave them feeling you value their participation.Make sure all appropriate members schedule a time for their Private Coaching Session. Scheduling meetings after the meeting consumes a great deal of your time.Conduct a TAB Go Around where you ask each member one idea or something of value from the meeting. (The handout you provided for notes helps them remember ideas they noted)Members will get ideas and engage in discussions in the meeting and at the end tell you they cant remember anything specific. Encourage them to take notes during the meeting and they will have something to refer to when you conduct the go around.Conducting a go around reminds them that they received value.

Closing the TAB MeetingConfirm who will host the next meeting and all the logistics.Remind members to fill out their Meeting Evaluation Forms and fax them directly to TAB corporate.You may ask for referrals at the end of the meeting.Make sure you have a volunteer to host the next meeting. It is useful to schedule 2 3 meetings into the future.Remind members to fill out their Meeting Evaluation Forms and fax them directly to the corporate office.Ask the members for referrals.

AccountabilityHolding their feet to the fire.Record all the commitments made by each member.List the commitments on next months agendas

Maintain Meeting Vitality

Maintain VitalityMembers GuestMemberSBL SpotlightTopic-GeneratedMeetingGuest SpeakersFacilitatorPresentationArticle orBook ReviewShort VideoBusinessExercisesIt is easy to slip into a routine or pattern of meeting formats. After a while you may notice resignations down the road for no apparent reason. You can maintain vitality and interest by planning a variety of meeting formats. Suggestions on the slide are covered in more detail in the following slides.Member SBL SpotlightEach member of the board will have the opportunity to make a formal presentation to the board on his/her:SWOT, Vision, Critical Success Factors Financial plan Plans for expansion, merger, sale, successionAny other formalized presentationAbout 60 minutes Member Spotlight is one of the most powerful presentations at a TAB Meeting.The presenter is forced to create a formal presentation, possibly their financials or their SBL process.Once critiqued by others the value will be seen by all.Members report that they gain deeper understanding of each others businesses.You may need to spend more focused coaching time assisting the member in understanding how a formal business presentation should be conducted.

Topic-Generated MeetingMany business topics can be universally discussed with any board. Advise the board a month in advance about the topic to be featured.Allow members to approve the topic Gives members time to prepare for it.Ask them to bring their own examples.We suggest that you add education to these meetings via topic generated meetings.The topic chosen should be presented to the board a month prior to the meeting where the topic will be discussed to allow the members to prepare or think about the topic.Ask them to bring their own examples if appropriate. (i.e. marketing materials, employee manuals, etc.)

Topic-Generated MeetingAllow 30 to 60 minutes for the topic.Share information on the topic that members are using or applying in their companies.Discuss how they can implement information on the topic in their business. Lead the way in identifying valuable topics.They dont know what they dontknow!The presentation should run between 30 to 60 minutes. Each member will apply the topic to their business either after the presentation or after various slides.We will see an example of this on the last day of training.

Members GuestSunMonTuesWedThursFriSat12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031Set boards potential expectations for next meeting.Partners DaySales Mgr DayYou can arrange to have special meeting days. For example you may have a day where all partners or key managers can attend a meeting.The meeting can be focused on working with a partner or just have partners attend to see what actually goes on at the TAB Meetings.Consider a day to discuss sales and invite the sales managers from the various companies to participate.Guest SpeakersIf the board is interested in a particular business topic that requires specific expertise, a guest expert may be invited to speak at the start of the meeting or at the optional luncheon.Be sure they sign the Non-Disclosure. Outside speakers may be invited by the TAB Certified Facilitator after the second board meeting. Guest experts may be invited to speak at the start of the meeting or at the optional luncheon.Prepare the guest speakers by letting them know this will not be a sales pitch, your members may want their card to contact them.Review any presentation materials and research the quality of the presenter.Let the presenter know about the TAB Confidentiality Form and requirement to maintain confidentiality.Its a great added value for retention and a great place to invite prospects.

Guest AdvisorsYou may have a potential member attend the meeting.Be sure you are prepared and your members are prepared.Be sure your guest advisor is prepared.They must sign the Non-Disclosure. The First TAB Board Meeting

The first TAB Board Meeting for new Boards is basically the same. It is scripted to provide both structure and value. You should let the members know how this meeting is different from subsequent meetings.More time will be spent getting to know about each others businesses.Present information about the way the TAB process works.

The First TAB Board MeetingThe first TAB board meeting is different.Begin to establish meeting structure and standards.Spend time learning about each other.Cover at least one common topic if out of time.Future meetings will focus on presentations of challenges/opportunities.The first meeting begins to set up meeting structure, standards and member expectations.The meeting will involve spending more time learning about each other.Plan to have a presentation ready in case the introductions and member sharing takes less time than anticipated.Let members know that future meetings will go into specific issues and opportunities in greater depth.

Starting the Meeting

Begin on time!Welcome them. Thank them for their attendance.Remind them of their confidentiality agreement.This meeting is your first impression and will set the standard and expectations for subsequent meeting.Begin exactly on the announced time regardless of how many are there.Welcome the new members to the meeting and thank them for their attendance.

Briefly introduce yourself and the members and let them know you will spend some time discussing the TAB meeting process at this meeting.

Explaining the ProcessDistribute and Explain Handouts:Agenda, Roster, Meeting Evaluation Form, Private Coaching Session Scheduling FormExplain Meeting Process:Time SlicesMeeting Variations Guest Speakers, Facilitator Presentations, Topic-Generated, Member SBL SpotlightsTurn to exhibits and handouts in their training manuals so you can go through the handouts that they can expect to receive at every meeting.Agenda - Remind members of their confidentiality agreement.Always put the confidentiality statement on every agenda.Discuss the Member list and contact information so they can contact one another. Discuss the Meeting Evaluation Form and let them know they will be receiving this at every meeting. Encourage them to fill it out so you can get feedback and serve them. In case you forget to hand out Meeting Evaluation Forms, there will also be an evaluation form on the members site for them to fill out.Discuss the Private Coaching Session scheduling form (if applicable). You may have already scheduled the next coaching session with your members at their first coaching session.

Describing ExpectationsDescribe a participative TAB member.Offers their experiences to others.Offers their opinion, even if they are not familiar with a particular challenge or opportunity.Asks questions to get to the real issue if a member has not articulated it clearly.Remind themThere are no incorrect responses.Not offering a response is not fairto the board.The value of the TAB process is realized when everyone offers their ideas and opinions. Personal Introductions

Individual Time SlicesMembers HistoryMembers Long Term GoalsHistory of the BusinessLong Term Goals for the BusinessCurrent ChallengesWhy they joined TABNow its time for the new members to present themselves. Announce the time slice, which should not exceed 20 minutes.Each member will tell the rest of the board the following:History of the MemberLong Term Goals of MemberHistory of the BusinessLong term goals of BusinessCurrent ChallengesThere is a list of items in the front section of the TAB Member Binder that should have been discussed at their first coaching session.

Common TopicIf neededSet aside 20 minutesDiscuss one topic of common interestJob descriptionsPlanning processMarketingToday's economy

You should set aside 20 minutes to discuss a common topic.The presentation should be interactive and involve discussion of how each point applies to each of the members. Dont worry about getting through the whole presentation.Conclusion of TAB MeetingConduct the TAB Go Around.Invite comments on the meeting.I Love TABHave the TAB Go-around Tell me one idea or suggestion that is of value that you received from this meeting.Ask each person to comment on the meeting and what they thought of the topic and what they got out of it.Let them know that this is a standard part of the closing of each meeting.

The Art of FacilitationA Gratifying Experience