Exploring bad meetings from a behavioral perspective and what we can improve for the better.
THE SET UP
- You’ll need at least 4 people, and 9 is a great number for this exercise.
- For groups of 7–9: 2 observers and 5–7 participants.
- For groups of 4–6: 1 observer and 3–5 participants.
- Each participant will receive a character card that includes 1) A catchphrase or important sentence that they will say to try to derail proceedings, 2) A character description and background and 3) Other special dramatic instructions.
NB: Ideal team for this exercise: 7 characters, 2 observers and 2 facilitators
GETTING READY PRIOR TO THE WORKSHOP (FACILITATOR)
- Powerpoint template opened
- Mentimeter slides ready
- Assign one character per participant and send the card to each participant accordingly a few minutes prior to the workshop
- Read about "5S" but not mandatory :-)
INTRODUCING THE CHALLENGE (8-10 min.)
- We have a challenge!
- In this challenge we will be doing a little bit of acting. Our scenario is a fictional meeting. Each one of you has been assigned a role to play in this mock meeting.
- Has everyone received their own character card?
- Ask everybody to NOT reveal the details of their cards to each other
- Afterwards, once you have experienced the scenario, we will brainstorm ideas for improvement.
- Read the context (slide 2)
READING THE CARDS (2-5 min.)
· Let the participants read the instructions on their card.
· Ask if there are any questions
· With no further information than the one provided on the card, participants play their scenario.
THE MEEETING (10-15 min.)
This is the fun part :). Facilitator to take notes. Try not to laugh too much as your team-mates relish their dysfunctional roles and show off their acting chops.
DEBRIEFING SESSION (30-35 min.)1. Identifying constructive and destructive behaviours (individual input)
a) Ask all the participants “how did that feel?". You can ask the participants for input in plenary or ask for it through Mentimeter (3 min.)
b) Through Mentimeter, invite participants to share the constructive behaviours displayed during the mock meeting (5 min.). Take a screenshot with all the input and paste it in the powerpoint template (slide 3).
d) Through Mentimeter, invite participants to share the destructive behaviours displayed during the mock meeting (5 min.). Take a screenshot with all the input and paste it in the powerpoint template (slide 4).
Ask the participants if any of this felt familiar: "Does this ever happen in our meetings?"
OPTIONAL: Show slide 5 "Examples of Behaviours" (5 min.).
2. Is there anything we could do differently? (group input)
- Create 2 - 3 breakout rooms (BR)
- Explain the participants that they will have 10 minutes to brainstorm on: "what can help the meetings to work better?".
- Show slide 6 (ask to take a screenshot as the slide won't be accessible in the BR)
- Each group to name a group representative for the debriefing.
3. Back to plenary - Debriefing
- Have each group representative share the group findings (3 min. per group)
- Facilitate the discussion
- Share additional input (slides 7 and 8) - Optional
CONCLUSION (5 min.)
Managing different behaviours can be challenging, as we experienced in this mock meeting. The 3 simple rules of change are (slide 8):
- It is easier to change the situation than the behaviour
- It is easier to change the behaviour than the attitude
- It is easier to change the attitude than the person!
So, the hardest to alter is the person themselves, that is their personality, their beliefs and their values.
FEEDBACK ABOUT THE SESSION (5-6 min.)
Mentimeter: Ask the participants for their input on the following questions:
· Q1. How useful was this session? (Low – medium – high)
· Q2. What is the ONE thing that stuck with you today (your #1 take away)?
· Q3. What area would you like to develop more in the near future?
Inspired by Paddy Corry The ‘Bad Meeting’ Retro. Adapted and customized by Lean4U. Remote, but can be adapted easily for a hybrid or on-site delivery.