Your forum meeting can be the most energizing hour of your work week. If your forum has fewer than 7 participants, you should be able to complete Top 5%/Bottom 5% updates, discussion topics, and opening and closing activities within one hour*. If your forum is often running long or down to the wire, try adding a Stopwatch to your Forum Facilitator Toolkit.
During your next Forum, ask each participant to prepare a 90 second timer for their Top 5%/Bottom 5% update. They can use their smartphone, watch, or other tool to keep time. This creates personal accountability for each participant to provide their update within the time limit and reduces the burden on the moderator to interrupt someone when their time is up.
Forums flourish when each participant has equal and adequate time to share their updates and participate in the discussion. Outside of your forum within your work teams providing team member’s with equal speaking time and opportunities to participate increases team effectiveness. Google’s Aristotle Study of 180 of their teams found that high levels of psychological safety and equal speaking time/participation resulted in higher levels of team effectiveness as measured by stakeholder evaluations and sales performance.
While we all have the best intentions to provide concise updates and a forum moderator keeping us on track, long monologues and side-topic conversations happen. Empower your team members to take responsibility for contributing to forum protocols by managing their own stopwatch during updates and you’ll complete the forum ontime and with more energy than when the meeting started!
Interested in learning more about forum facilitator best practices? Our team of certified forum moderators are available to answer your questions and provide 1-on-1 support to help you prepare to facilitate your next forum. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!
*We recommend scheduling your forum for 90 minutes if you have more than 8 participants