Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Planning Sessions?

By Alan Gehringer

How are your quarterly and annual planning meetings going?  Are you the one who has to facilitate the meeting each time?  Here are some questions to ask yourself about your planning meetings:

  • Am I so busy facilitating that I am not participating?
  • Am I more concerned about the process than contributing to the outcome?
  • Are my team members contributing to their fullest, or are they holdingFacilitator Director Chair back because I am running the meeting?
  • Are team members using the meetings to further their personal agendas?
  • Do we achieve our desired outcomes, or do we get down into the day to day operations?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may want to consider bringing someone in to facilitate your next planning session.  A professional outside facilitator can bring a lot to the table by helping you and your teams do the following:

  • Stay focused and on task.
  • Keep the planning at a high enough level to be forward looking.
  • Mediate when necessary.
  • Ensure personal agendas do not get in the way of planning objectives.
  • Contribute unbiased, outside perspective.
  • Act as a sounding board and coach.
  • Provide some form of learning for the team.
  • Develop winning moves that will 2X your business in the next 3-5 years.

Consider having someone facilitate your next planning meeting.  You may find that you and your team are more productive and that the sessions are more enjoyable.  I recently completed a session where the CEO actually enjoyed the work and felt refreshed rather than burdened from the process.  Give yourself a break and make your planning sessions fun and productive again.


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Alan Gehringer


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