Introducing Facilitator Tools: The key to more productive meetings
Reading time: about 5 min
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt more confused after a meeting than before. You’ve probably had many meetings like this, and you’re not the only one. In fact, companies can spend up to $282 million on ineffective meetings alone. This is where facilitators come in.
A facilitator’s role is to help guide meeting attendees to find answers, reach outcomes, and establish clear next steps—whether that’s another meeting or assigning project tasks. Facilitation is a learned skill that’s needed in more and more organizations, especially in a hybrid work environment, so companies can spend less time on pointless meetings.
Visual collaboration solutions like Lucidspark make it easy for facilitators to do their job well, ultimately helping meeting attendees make decisions quickly. We recently launched a new update to help you facilitate meetings more efficiently and effectively. Introducing Facilitator Tools: the toolkit facilitators need to get meetings across the finish line.
What are Facilitator Tools?
In addition to the already innovative features Lucidspark offers facilitators, like Breakout Boards, timer, and voting, Facilitator Tools help minimize wasted time and increase innovation and productivity in meetings.
Here are three new features facilitators can expect to find in this toolkit:
Give every meeting attendee necessary information through real-time updates shared on the Lucidspark board. Whether you’re announcing the end of a brainstorming session or providing additional instructions for your next activity, facilitators can rest easy knowing every meeting attendee is up to date.
Take the lead
Need every participant to follow you? Now you can automatically have all eyes on your screen. This helps limit distractions by showing attendees exactly what agenda item is being discussed.
Bring attendees’ focus front and center by utilizing a laser pointer. It’s exactly like it sounds but right on the Lucidspark board. This helps meeting-goers understand what’s being discussed and can spark new ideas.
3 benefits of facilitation
In a hybrid work world, many organizations have adjusted to meet evolving needs. One of the biggest challenges was approaching meetings in a new way. Without a physical room with a whiteboard and sticky notes, what could a facilitator do?
Luckily, virtual collaboration platforms make it easy for facilitators to do what they do best: help meeting attendees reach outcomes in a timely manner. Here are three other benefits a facilitator brings to the table:
#1: Gives everyone a voice
Making the most innovative decisions comes down to thinking outside the box and highlighting diverse ideas. One big goal for facilitators is to make sure every meeting participant has the time and opportunity to share their perspectives. Virtual collaboration solutions make it fair for everyone to share in a way they couldn’t before.
By using Lucidspark features like voting and Collaborator Colors, facilitators can promote psychological safety throughout their meetings. Giving everyone the opportunity to voice ideas and concerns is the perfect way to build team trust, ultimately leading to more innovative decisions.
#2: Helps teams deliver fast and responsibly
Let’s face it—priorities and company needs change at the drop of a hat. Take the pandemic for example. Many organizations had to completely rethink processes and had to be nimble in order to do so.
One of the best ways for teams to deliver fast and responsibly is by having efficient meetings. For facilitators, this could mean sharing agenda items in advance and using features like Cards or Timelines.
Take it from facilitator expert, Marsha Acker, “To have productive meetings, facilitators need to have clear agenda items with outcomes needed. Without both, it’s easy to spend time in pointless meetings.”
Try out one of Marsha’s agenda Lucidspark templates to take your facilitation skills to the next level and boost engagement:
#3: Promotes alignment across cross-functional teams
So you have all the necessary stakeholders at a meeting. Now what? With icebreakers and guided activities, facilitators can make sure meeting attendees feel safe sharing ideas and aligning to a shared outcome.
Facilitators can start out using Frames and Paths to showcase different perspectives and goals in an organized manner for all meeting attendees to clearly grasp. And using emoji reactions and our integration with GIPHY, participants can build a stronger team connection through lighthearted engagement.
Once everyone has a basic understanding of the goals and agenda items, facilitators can use Breakout Boards for participants to use. These are the perfect way to break large groups up into smaller ones to complete various activities. This helps meeting participants share their various perspectives, discover new ones, and ultimately see what’s possible.
Get started with Facilitator Tools for free
Facilitation is less about taking time up as a participant and more about guiding meeting attendees through activities and agenda items to reach outcomes quickly and efficiently. It’s a skill every organization needs and with the right perspective and visual collaboration solutions, meetings can completely transform.
Lucidspark makes it simple to facilitate across disparate teams with a shared vision. Spending time asynchronously to then come together in real time, helps stakeholders make decisions quickly and deliver the best value in a timely manner.
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Lucidspark is a virtual whiteboard that helps you and your team collaborate to bring the best ideas to light. It comes packed with all of the sticky notes, freehand drawing tools, and infinite canvas space you need to capture that next big idea. And it’s built for collaboration. Think of it like a sandbox where your team can bounce ideas around and innovate together in real time.
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