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Effective Meetings Step 3 – Navigate

Categories: Effective Meetings

I’ve already focused on the pre-launch and launch phases of successful meetings. Phase 3 is to navigate – which is to guide the meeting attendees to make sense of the information that came out of the idea generation stage (launch).

The navigate phase has two key objectives:

  1. Clarify the ideas generated during the Launch phase.
  2. Prioritize the ideas from the launch phase

Let's start with the first objective. Here are a couple questions you can ask to ensure everyone has clarity and is on the same page:

  • What questions do you have regarding the ideas we listed on the flip chart?
  • Would anyone like clarification on any of these items listed?

Once the ideas have been clarified, take the opportunity to eliminate duplicates from the list before going on to stage 2 of navigation, which is to prioritize.

There are a number of tools to prioritize. Here are five that BRODY recommends:

  1. N/3: This tool is used when you’re trying to narrow a list of brainstormed ideas. This is not voting, but rather a way of determining what ideas have the most and least support. You take the number of ideas listed (N) and divide it by 3. That’s the number of “votes” each person gets.  
  2. Advocating: The facilitator invites participants to take turns speaking on one of the ideas listed. Specifically, they can share their opinion on why the ideas should stay or go. This works best if each person is limited to 1 to 2 minutes. It can also be a quick way to deepen people’s understanding of the issues.
  3. Evaluating Against Criteria: Another way to narrow your list is to evaluate your list of ideas against a set of criteria.
  4. Pros/Cons: The facilitator invites the participants to take turns speaking about the pros and cons of the suggested solutions. This method allows the group to see the relative merits of each potential idea and lead to the most favored outcome(s).
  5. Priority Sequence: In a round robin fashion, each participant identifies their "most favorite" idea and their "least favorite" idea from the list generated in the launching session.

These navigation tools allow for discussion and information-sharing. By selecting a navigation tool, the facilitator has created a methodology that’s clear, unbiased and understood.

Let me know if you have any questions regarding the meeting navigation tools and process – and feel free to share how you implement some of these strategies for meeting success.

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