“Great and effective meetings don't just happen by accident, there is usually a skillful meeting leader supporting the effort,” said Diane Strachan, JEDI trainer and professional facilitator for businesses, economic development groups, state and national resource agencies, environmental groups, colleges and universities, and non-profit educational and community development organizations.

A new two-evening Jefferson Economic Development Institute workshop, “Leading Great Meetings,” has been scheduled for Aug. 19 and 26 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. upstairs at The Gallery in Mt. Shasta, located in the Black Bear Building in downtown Mount Shasta.

The workshop, customized for the individual participant’s needs, promises to build confidence and teach business owners, managers, community leaders, consultants, and even leaders-in-training, the techniques, skills, and art of facilitating effective, productive and engaging meetings.

“Great and effective meetings don’t just happen by accident, there is usually a skillful meeting leader supporting the effort,” said Diane Strachan, JEDI trainer and professional facilitator for businesses, economic development groups, state and national resource agencies, environmental groups, colleges and universities, and non-profit educational and community development organizations.

“Whether it’s a meeting or negotiation between two people or a whole group, one well designed and facilitated meeting can shift an employee’s attitude, an organization’s strategy for success, or a whole community’s ability to move forward and create positive change together. Being able to lead a meeting effectively can be extremely cost and time effective in the long run,” said Strachan.

JEDI’s workshop will cover basic to advance facilitation knowledge and skills including: defining a facilitator’s role and boundaries; how to create shared intentions and prepare well for a meeting; how to create and use “bomb-proof” agenda templates; practice and use effective communication skills, insights and ground rules for facilitators; dealing with “tricky” and difficult situations; understanding human nature and the predictable patterns in group dynamics; room layouts that support effective communication; note taking; and how to lead a “visual” meeting.

Strachan will also provide sources for people to access additional training and resources.

“There was tremendous value received in learning how to facilitate meetings from Diane,” said Mike Simicsak, Chief Technology Officer for Cross Petroleum and past training participant of Strachan’s. “Not having spent a lot of time as a facilitator, I wasn’t sure what resources I had at my disposal to keep the meeting on track and flowing smoothly.”

“I learned and practiced that the facilitator has power and using it judiciously and wisely adds value to the meeting. Diane explained different tools and how to use them which helped a great deal. I’m not a person who spends a lot of time thinking about relationships,” continued Simicsak.

“One of the key values to my training was the attention to the relationships and details in the meeting. Learning how to pay attention to the interactions going on and using the tools at your disposal to guide those in ways that enhance productivity, collaboration and teamwork really worked. I’ve spent a lot of time in the role of a meeting participant but not in the role of a facilitator.

“Taking the time to think about the facilitator role is not only helpful to leading meetings but also in being a better participant. I now have a much greater appreciation for the difficulties of being a meeting leader and I am much better equipped to assist in that role even when I’m not the facilitator,” said Simicsak.

JEDI is sponsoring a special “Word-of-Mouth Contest” for this workshop. The individual or organization that refers the most participants to sign up for the workshop will win a private and customized three-hour marketing planning and development session with Strachan valued at $350.

Cost for the two-evening workshop is $15 to $90 per person, depending on membership status with JEDI.

For more workshop detail, information about JEDI membership, and/or registration contact JEDI at 926-6670, extension 10.