Every meeting I facilitate is unique. The primary distinctive of each gathering is not the subject of the engagement but the collective bias of the group.
You have heard of the “bias for action.” Did you know that there are three other biases? Every individual has a primary inclination or bias around the four basic personality types. And every group has a collective bias.
Why is this important to know?
If you understand the group’s bias you can adapt your facilitation style to maximize success.
The four biases are:
#1 Bias for Action: This person is motivated by getting things done. A great day is a long, finished task list. Go, do, decide!!!
#2 Bias for Harmony: This person is driven by solid relational connection with others. Getting things done in a peaceful manner is more important than how much gets done. Ask, listen, be together.
#3 Bias for Accuracy: This person senses accomplishment only when things are done right. It doesn’t matter how much gets done or how much peace is maintained; all that matters is accurate results. Define, measure, manage!
#4 Bias for Influence: This person loves to see his or her ideas and personality impact the group. Effective communication and the positive response of others is more important that productivity, peace or accuracy. Talk, discuss, laugh!!
The key to using these biases is to adapt your facilitation pace and strategy based on the make-up of the group. So next time you facilitate, try to identify what kind of group you have. It will quickly help you tweak your facilitation style.
- Do we need a faster pace or more breaks?
- Do we need to listen more to one another or make more decisions?
- Do we need to address conflict more directly or do we need better analytics?
Remember that every group has some unstated measure of success for the person facilitating. Dramatic success requires more than just covering the right subject matter. It comes with meshing your facilitation pace, style and strategy with their collective bias.