“Dear Min –Tonight I shared a presentation on your process and a question came up about a team with a dominating personality. How might I encourage the rest of the group and keep the dominator from scaring off the others?” Thanks, Alice

Alice: The key is setting the “ground rules” at the very beginning. If the participants understand the rules, they will actually help you navigate through the process. The group’s success depends on their skills of divergence, convergence, deferring judgment, avoiding killer phrases and following the process. Introducing the ground rules (especially if you do it in a fun way) will help set a good tone and allow the group to collectively manage members who are stepping out of line. Typically, no one wants to be seen as a bad actor once the rules about bad acting are established.

Tools like the thought catchers, posters and tent cards are very helpful in keeping the group dynamics fun. Remind enthusiastic participants to “hold that thought…use your thought catcher,” if they are eager to leap into the conversation ahead of – or more loudly than – less exuberant team members.
Try having the participants complete the Online CPSP (the Profile) before the workshop. Engaging the team in discussing their different problem solving styles can work wonders in making the process flow smoothly.

This week’s Minsight:
Every session we facilitate may not be perfect at the beginning; they rarely are. But they will be increasingly valuable as long as we follow the process and use the skills the best we can. Next time you facilitate, choose the ground rules that will best work for you. Feel like chiming in? What ground rules have you used?