Before conducting official business at a meeting, it is usually helpful to find out what the participants’ expectations are. For example:
- What is the goal of the meeting?
- What are the required outputs?
- What is required of the participants?
- How will things proceed?
I suggest the following exercise to gather information: have participants write the answers to these questions down. This format allows each participant to think about their own answers and ideas, to share those ideas with others, to be listened to and be heard, and finally, understand fully what to expect from the meeting.
With this technique, you should be able to achieve the following:
- Everybody will have a chance to speak up and voice their opinion several times and with different people
- Opinions won’t be judged or commented upon
- Participants will find out if they share similar views and/or hear different points of view
- The participants will be familiar with one another’s responses and ideas
- During the final sharing session, the facilitator/organizer summarizes everyone’s constributions
More information on the training can be found at: