Best Practices for Facilitating Meetings
If it's your first time participating in the Ellevate Squad program, It’s normal to be a little nervous about facilitating the weekly meetings. Be friendly, listen to each member, and ask follow-up questions - there's no one "right" way to run a weekly Squad meeting. Find the rhythm that's best for you.
To help you get started, here are a few tips we've curated from Ellevate Experts and previous Squad Mods. Have something you want us to add? Send your tip to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Practices Cheat Sheet
1. Introduce yourself in a warm and friendly way
Remember, everyone in your Squad is probably a little nervous to get started. You can help break the ice by sharing a few details about your personal life. Do you have kids? Pets? Hobbies? Don’t hide them! Be your authentic, genuine self.
2. Give everyone an opportunity to speak
With 9 voices per Squad and only 30-45 minutes per meeting, it's important to make sure no one person dominates the conversation. Hearing all voices in the room enriches the learning experience for everyone in your Squad.
3. Establish speaking guidelines during the Kickoff Meeting
Just like meetings at the office, it's important to establish guidelines to make sure each meeting is productive. For example, you can advise that each member has 2-3 minutes to share their thoughts per speaking turn. You can also establish a speaking order for each meeting.
4. Share reminders at the end of every meeting
Pretty much everyone is juggling work, family, and other responsibilities throughout the week. That's why it's important to give your Squad gentle reminders about upcoming Hot Seats, meeting agendas, or even upcoming Ellevate events.
5. Be curious about each member's career path
Questions will always drive discussions forward and encourage members to share more context about where they've been and where they're going in their career. These questions are borrowed from First Round Review; of course, any of your favorite networking questions will work perfectly.
What drew you to work in this particular industry?
Tell me about the business model — who pays whom and who is delivering value to whom?
What’s your favorite part of your job and why?
What's your current focus for your career? What would you like to change?
6. Be curious about each member's Ellevate journey
Each Squad member has had a unique experience within Ellevate. Getting to know how everyone's membership is going is a great way to get quieter members speaking. It's also a great way for more seasoned members to share advice with newer additions to the community. A few questions to keep on hand:
Why did you join Ellevate? How long have you been a member?
What does a successful membership mean to you?
Who else have you met in the community?
For the Curious: Coaching Frameworks & Tips
Having a background as a coach is absolutely not required to be a Squad Mod; as a peer to the members of your Squad, you have the knowledge and empathy within you to facilitate group conversations.
However, if you’re feeling nervous about your Squad meetings or you want to beef up your Squad Mod skills, research some popular coaching frameworks and coaching questions. Many Squad Mods who are professional coaches have told us that their skills and training helped them tremendously. One framework you can start with is the GROW model, which is right at home in the Squad’s Hot Seat structure.
We also recommend watching Jen Farrer's top-rated Jam Session, How to Have Coaching Conversations.
Read Next: Tips from Top Squad Mods