These four principles will start shifting the responsibility in meetings or discussions from only you, to you and the group.
I spend my working life either facilitating groups to unleash their potential, or training leaders to do the same. My colleagues at Tuff have spent two decades honing the mindset and skills needed to release the responsibility in groups.
Here are the simple but powerful basics:
#1 Clear purpose
Purpose is the compass for the group.
Help the group to clarify the purpose, and highlight when they move away from it.
#2 Ask coaching questions
Coaching questions can unlock magic in a group. They should be open, place the responsibility with the group, and move things forward. For example:
- “What’s the most important thing for us to talk about?”
- “What’s needed for us to move forward?”
- “What’s in the way for us to move forward?”
Your listening will do wonders. It helps the group feel heard and clarifies what’s in the air.
Listen and play back what you hear. For instance:
- Label what you hear (words, feelings)
- Repeat 2–3 words back that someone said as a question
- Summarise themes
#4 Responsibility radar
Always be asking yourself: “Where is the responsibility now?”
If you’re doing most of the talking, it’s probably with you. So how can you give it back? When you leave the meeting or discussion, who is responsible for what?
These four principles together will start shifting the responsibility from only you, to you and the group. Happy experimenting!
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