Facilitation Tips and Tricks.

By Katrina Harpell

You can be the most detail-oriented, organized, structured person on earth, with every minute of a meeting planned out down to the last second. You are in control. You are calm, cool and collected – you have thought of everything! Or so you think…because if you aren’t able to think and act on the fly, you are going to be feeling a lot more stress than anticipated. As we’ve all heard before, the only thing you have control over is yourself, how you act, and react. And sometimes you just need to be OK embracing the chaos!

Earlier this fall I attended a two-day session that I helped coordinate and plan. I had all my to-do’s ticked off – I was ready! Venue booked? Check! AV booked? Check! Catering ordered? Check! Flip charts pre-prepared, stimuli created, music playlist downloaded to iPod? Check, check, all things check!!!! We were pumped, we were ready to go, we were EARLY. And thank goodness for that, because I’d ordered flip chart paper and easels, and they gave me painters’ easels; not ones that hold flip charts.

But we didn’t panic, we didn’t despair – we ran down the street to the nearby art store and bought a bunch of oversized bulldog clips and a few large sheets of ply board and we clipped the paper to the boards and stood them on the easels. We were like Olivia Pope – we had it handled.

Make do with what is available to you, be creative, and also take a moment to realize that while you may know something didn’t work out as planned; your client most likely hasn’t a clue that something was missed, and overall you’ve delivered more than expected in the first place.