Facilitator Tip: Staying On-Task and On-Time
Have you ever lead a conversation that started out great, then all of a sudden one comment leads the group off-course and off-task for 30 minutes? Generally, most groups have a lot to get accomplished in a short amount of time. With groups of passionate and knowledgeable people, it is easy to veer off onto other topics or easily get side-tracked by minute details of a conversation. Here are a few tips to keep a group focused and on-task.
- Remind the group of the "keep focused" expectation
- Don't be afraid to directly re-focus the group on a particular agenda item
- Try to close the item or set it aside in a "parking lot" for consideration later
- Let the community decide if they would like to continue the productive, meaningful conversation or move on to the next activity or item on the agenda
Of course there are always instances where going deeper on a subject can be healthy and productive. Knowing your group and the desired outcomes of the experience will help you determine how much time to spend on each topic.
Have fun out there,