Facilitating…the art of making a task easier.

Archive for the ‘ICA’ Category

Dealing With Difficult People – Why Do They Act Like That?

DifficultPeopleYou have seen them. They are the people that always have a different opinion. They know the ONLY way to do something. They don’t want to even consider another way. We have all worked with them. Everyone wants to know how do we deal with that type of person?

Before you can deal with that type of person, you need to look at why do they take that hard stance? What is it that makes them feel that they are right?
Generally, people take a difficult stance for one or more of the following reasons:

1. They experienced a similar situation before that was not successful and are convinced this will not be successful either so why are you wasting my time.
2. They don’t have enough “context” information to see the big picture. Their scope of knowledge is only a portion of the entire problem, situation or project.
3. They may have some personal issues that they are dealing with that prevent them from fully participating.
4. They are afraid that they will appear weak among their peers and reports. They have a need to always be right.
5. They are afraid of failure. If you don’t do it my way it won’t work and then I will be responsible anyway.

These are just a few of the real reasons that people behave in a difficult manner. I believe there are underlying issues for most people when they behave in this way. Your meetings need to be structured to mitigate these behaviors. You may not be able to prevent them all but you can certainly start to establish a process to reduce them. Here are just a few suggestions.

1. Be sure that the people you have in the meeting are there for a reason. Don’t invite everyone. Invite only those that need to participate. If you have a group of people that simply need to be “in the know” send them a memo. Otherwise, you will be wasting time.
2. Let the group share what they feel the desired outcome of the meeting should be. What would they consider “success” of the meeting. Each person may have a totally different idea of why they are even at the meeting.
3. When you see bad behavior do something. Move around the room, go stand by the person who is having the side conversation. They will stop.
4. Be sure you have enough small group discussions built into the meeting so that they have a chance to share information with their neighbors.
5. Have a defined, interesting and engaging agenda and discussion. If the participants at the meeting are able to check their email while in the meeting, you have room to improve your meeting and agenda planning. Participants should not be interested in checking their email ( unless they are on call or in need) and should be drawn to the meeting. They should know that they are a part of the meeting and their voices and input is important.

One of skills that is growing in demand is “facilitation” skills. To be adapt at designing and facilitating meetings takes training and research. ICA-USA and ICA-Associates, Canada have spent decades developing facilitation training based on successful implementation of those methods. Consider taking one of the two upcoming classes offered by ICA-USA and ICA-Canada. ICA-USA ToP TM Facilitation Methods will show you two methods (Focused Conversation and Consensus Workshop) and one process ( Action Planning). The ICA-Canada class will show you how to determine the “right” people to have in the room, develop agendas, room set up, flip chart tips , 72 activities to use in your meetings and how to deal with difficult people.

Here are the links to the 2 Florida classes. Each of them are a 2 day workshop.

* Top Facilitation Methods – ICA – USA, http://bit.ly/1Udds20
* Making Meetings Work – ICA – Associates http://bit.ly/2aCt5iL

Do you belong to the Association of the Miserable?

Complaining is easy.  Negaticomplainve conversation is the easiest for most people. (1) . Sometimes the first reaction to any conversation is the adversarial opinion. Why?

Why do we automatically do that? Is it because we don’t agree with what is being said? Or is it we truly don’t care about what is being said and it is way to halt the conversation? Do we want to be last heard and first remembered?

I used to find myself doing that on occasion. Okay – more than on occasion. At least that is how I used to be. I have changed my thoughts process and you can too.

Allow me to share my “before and after”, as an example for you.

Here is the scenario: A friend tells me that they are getting a dog.

My internal thoughts before:
Why would they want to get a dog. It is a lot of work and will pee on the floor, poop on their shoes and cost them a lot of money. Just when they get used to and attached to the dog, it will get hit by a car and then they will be sad. Why would anyone want a dog?

You can see that I used to belong to the “Association of the Miserable”.

My new internal thoughts are:
The dog will be a lucky dog because they have a nice back yard for the dog. The dog will be able to sleep in the house with the kids. I myself would not want a dog. If I did have the perfect dog, it would be fun to take it on walks. They will enjoy taking the dog on walks, petting it and sharing it with their friends and family. The dog will give them joy in their life. Maybe they need something in their life that is always happy and forgiving. Maybe I will get their dog a “welcome home” doggy present. I always have liked going in to the dog store and now I have a real reason to shop there.

What would happen to the world, your neighborhood, school or just your family if you could change how you think? Change how you process information. It is possible, and not all that hard!

Learn this method of Focused Conversations along with ways to build consensus and action planning in the ToP Facilitation Methods 2 day class in Orlando, October 9-10, 2014.  Tell someone that you know belongs to the “Association of the Miserable”.   Sign up at www.ToPFlorida.org

#focusedconversation #ICA #ToPMethods

(1) The Art of Focused Conversation, Brian Stanfield, for the Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs

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