How to Run More Effective Meetings

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More that 10 million meetings occur every day in the United States alone, so there’s no denying that meetings are a very important part of the corporate world. But despite that, a lot of people do meetings wrong and end up losing money through lost productivity or even worse, unclear goals.

Be prepared

It’s always a good idea to let people know the overall details of the meeting but it’s also important to provide relevant documents or information that would help everyone come to your meeting prepared. Sometimes a meeting might require research and for your attendees to have some time to gather their thoughts and ideas. It also cuts down on time spent running people through information that everyone could already be aware of.

Know your objective

The biggest mistake people make when calling a meeting is having a poor agenda or not having one at all. Without a good agenda or a facilitator to keep things on track people can go off topic and not add anything of value to the meeting at all. This becomes one of the major reasons why people consider meetings a waste of time.

Make the objective of the meeting clear before you start. That way people are able to come prepared and know what’s necessary to make it successful. With the material you’ve given your attendees, having a clear objective will also allow them to come into the meeting with any concerns they may have going forward, which can be answered easier.

Invite the right people

Cramming the room with as many people as possible doesn’t always accomplish the best results. The more people you have, the more likely it is that people are going to take the meeting in the wrong direction, be afraid to contribute or feel like they can afford not to pay attention. You might also be keeping a lot of people from doing important work that will end up costing you time and money in lost productivity.

Instead it’s about getting the right people who can contribute the best to your objective. These are the people who are most relevant to the problem at hand, whether they’re working on the front lines or overseeing the team that will be solving a problem. Having the right parties present also lets you communicate more clearly with the right team and ensure that they’re on the right track.

Provide key takeaways

It’s all too easy for people to come out of a meeting and go about their day without actually putting anything they’ve learned to use. This comes down to the facilitators. At the end of the meeting, provide your attendees with some key takeaways and goals. Clear tasks help give a purpose to your meeting and people can leave it with something tangible to take back to their desks.

You can also have someone tasked with taking notes during the meeting and putting together a contact report to send out after. This way all attendees have a written record of what needs to get done. This can also be used to track progress for future meetings.

Ineffective meetings can kill productivity and be a waste of time. But with the tips listed above, you can make sure your team can make the most of their time and tackle goals with more direction.

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How to run more effective meetings

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How often do you run across a coworker, sighing as they go onto their way to a meeting? Or maybe you’ve read one of hundreds of articles that say meetings are a waste of time. It’s not surprising that many people react this way.

An unstructured meeting can be a waste of time, but at the end of the day these are still very important parts of running a successful business.

If done right, a meeting allows your team to get together to collaborate, solve problems and build stronger relationships.

Effective leadership and discipline is needed to get the most out of meetings. But how do you effectively lead one?

What’s the purpose?

Communication is the key to mastering meetings. A long meeting doesn’t always mean a successful one, but on that note, neither does a short one.

A successful meeting is one that addresses all the issues at hand so that everyone leaves it feeling sure about what they need to accomplish.

Come into it with a plan. Why have you brought everyone together? What is it you hope to achieve? Have you scheduled enough time to hit all your talking points?

There are many reasons to hold a meeting:

  • Problem solving
  • Creative brainstorming
  • Team or morale building
  • Training sessions

If you have a clear picture of what you’re holding a meeting for, it’s easier to build a plan.

Create an agenda

Agendas can give your meeting a solid outline. You may not end up hitting all the points on it, but referring to an agenda helps you keep things on track. Otherwise, unrelated topics may come up and waste everyone’s time. Remember, if it’s not worth creating an agenda for, it’s not worth meeting.

A good agenda should be concise and cover just a few major topics. This helps you leave enough time for discussion so that you can expand on those talking points.

By keeping it to just a few topics, it also helps focus your team on what they need to do. It’s easier to send an employee away with one or two major tasks rather than fifteen small ones. Too many tasks can easily lead to confusion and ultimately, procrastination.

Meetings start on time

There was a famous story of a meeting Steve Jobs ran while he was at Pixar. Jobs was to meet with Lucasfilm’s Chief Financial Officer, who decided that he could show he was in control of the meeting by getting there a few minutes late.

He eagerly walked into the room, expecting everyone to be waiting for him. Instead, Jobs had already started the meeting and was now in control of it.

Showing up early shows you’re serious about being productive and getting things done. It also shows that you value your team’s or your client’s time.

No phones under the table

Meetings require your full attention. If you’re staring down at your phone while someone is talking, it can come off the wrong way, especially if there are clients or bosses in the room.

It’s best practice to turn your phone on silent and place it face down on the table or tuck it away in your pocket. That way, you’re not distracted by flashing screens or the temptation to look at the time.

If you have a scheduled call to take, then plan to step out of the room beforehand so as not to distract anyone.

Meetings end on time

Just like starting your meeting on schedule, ending it on time shows you respect other people’s time. It keeps everyone on task and ensures that there’s no time being wasted.

Be sure to discuss the end time of the meeting before it starts and reinforce it again as you approach the time. With a ten-minute warning, you can then set a clear boundary and start wrapping up.

You can then take the final few minutes to summarize ideas and assign clear tasks.

There are exceptions to this. Sometimes, ideas might come up towards the end of a meeting and take everyone down a rabbit hole. If the ideas are flowing and you’re making breakthroughs, you don’t want to interrupt anyone.

Build contact reports

If agendas are important pre-meeting, contact reports are just as important post-meeting.

A contact report helps you follow up with everyone after you’re done. Not everyone will have taken notes so it’s a good idea to have one person dedicated towards it.

This person can then create a contact report, which will cover all the important talking points, key takeaways and tasks to be completed and by who.

Having a successful meeting can do many things for you as we’ve covered. It can build morale, help solve critical problems and more. But unfortunately, many meetings are run haphazardly which is why people remain cynical towards them. That doesn’t need to be the case.

Whether it’s a small or a big team, these tips will help you keep these meetings on track so that your company can communicate and solve problems more effectively.

 

Meet You @ The Rostie Group – The 3 Meeting Room Styles

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Toronto Meeting Rooms

Toronto Meeting Rooms

 

The Rostie Group is the perfect location to book your meetings and training rooms. We’re just a short walk from Union Station through the PATH so you won’t have to brave the elements any longer. Overlooking the lake on one side and Toronto’s Financial Core on the other, the view alone is enough to get your creative juices flowing. With over 7000 sq. ft. of meeting space, our variety of modern meeting rooms can host anywhere from 2 to 100 people.

On top of the great venue, our caring and dedicated team will give your events a personal touch, customizing any room to the specific needs of your event. We buy high q
uality local food, providing fully catered pre-fix menus and/or a breakfast meeting menu with freshly made and just out of the oven pastries, croissants and bagels. Our team also provides in-house technical support to help set up rooms for you’re A/V needs.
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Over the last 25 years, we’ve had the pleasure of overseeing a large variety of businesses using our space for events such as:

1. Training events and Town Hall meetings

Join the growing number of businesses conducting Town Hall meetings to engage with their employees in a more personal setting. Our larger rooms like Rainy Lake and Muskoka are perfect for hosting bigger, training sessions or conferences; these rooms can be customized to be open concept and promote collaboration and teamwork.

For the last 15 years we have also been host to several Canadian universities such as Concordia and Dalhousie. They employ this style of meeting to enrich their learning experiences while utilizing our video conferencing systems to best help their students succeed.

food-22. Formal meetings

Our Atlantic and Pacific rooms are perfect for formal meetings such as off-site arbitration, board meetings and client consultations. With modern design and video conferencing equipment, you will be more than ready to close your next deal. Our Toronto Bay room which looks out onto the Toronto Waterfront also has a comfortable seating area and has the amenities to conduct a more personal meeting if required.

3. Interviewing rooms

Get out of the loud and crowded coffee shop and into one of our conveniently-priced smaller rooms like Lake Joe, Baltic or Caspian. They provide the perfect intimate atmosphere to have one-on-one interviews. With soundproof walls, you will be sure to have the privacy you expect in your meeting. These rooms also come equipped with A/V hardware and can be used for video conferencing.

And much more

With fully customizable rooms, we are fully flexible and can adjust the space for any sort of meeting, event or training session required. You can easily book online at www.TorontoMeetings.com or call us toll-free at 1-800-648-1840 or 416-216-4622.

Ahoy! Join us for the Redpath Waterfront Festival Canada Day weekend!

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Calling all mates! Celebrate summer in full sail with the Redpath Waterfront Festival, presented by PortsToronto as they launch the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes Series.

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Tall ships return to RWF and will be docked in HTO Park for public deck tours. The star ships include: Draken Harald Hårfagre, the most authentic Viking ship built in modern days; the Spanish ship El Galeón, with 5 decks to explore; and from the USA, Pride of Baltimore II. Other ships include St. Lawrence II, Playfair, Pathfinder and Canadian Ocean Racing’s O Canada.

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The Royal Canadian Navy will be joining the festival for the first time with two 55-metre, coastal defence naval ships, the Ship Shape Obstacle Course, the Urban Fresh Navy Cook Off, and a host of interactive on-land activities!

redpath festivalReturning this year, the Waterfront Artisan Market will offer unique products and delicious treats from 50 top artisans, crafters, chefs and bakers! Enjoy our beautiful waterfront while you eat, shop and browse at Toronto’s newest open-air market. Also returning is the Ultimutts Stunt Dog Show, featuring non-stop, jaw dropping tricks from adorable rescue pups! See them play piano, do handstands, skateboard, tightrope walk and so much more.

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Celebrate Canada Day with us and take in the spectacular firework show at Harbourfront Centre on July 1st. A crowd favourite, the grand finale Parade of Sail on Sunday, July 3rd, will feature all festival ships and unique local vessels as they sail through the Toronto harbour to bid farewell. Bring the whole crew!

The Rostie Group is a proud Festival Partner with The Redpath Waterfront festival! We have had a behind the scenes look at a lot of the planning and hard work that goes into making the festival the best event on Toronto’s Waterfront every year!

Visit www.TOwaterfrontfest.com for more information.

 

 

The Scoop is out for June!

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Summer is always bustling down by Toronto’s Waterfront! The Rostie Group has opened The Sales Hub – coworking for sales professionals! The first of its kind, this open workspace caters to high-energy deal closers looking for a place to be productive.  Come and check it out today!

Mark your calendar for the Rise & Shine Executive Breakfast on June 15th: Video Presenting for Business Professionals and Executives with film director Kunle Bristow! Video is the best way to build your brand and connect across a wide variety of platforms. Learn more about how you and your brand can utilise video on June 15th!

Canada Day is also around the corner, which means the Redpath Waterfront Festival is gearing up and putting their sails up! Tour international tall ships, visit the Royal Canadian Navy Cook Off, and celebrate with the Parade of Sail. Free and running July 1-3, this is the summer event you don’t want to miss.

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Top 10 Choices for Winter Fun on the Waterfront!

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Toronto’s winter has been unpredictable to say the least! The Waterfont community is still full of excitement and fun things to do. Use this list to plan your next after work night out, or visit to the Waterfront on the weekend!

ART:

  • Stay warm and feed your eyes and your ears with Quebec artist Patrick Bernatchez’s installation work on now until May 15, 2016 at The Power Plant Art Gallery. Immerse yourself in the changing seasons, pondering the cycle of life and death, rebirth and what time really means. Great for a date or friends to visit, and its FREE!  Find the Power Plant at 231 Queens Quay W.
  • powerplantLooking for some obscure and enigmatic art to whisk you out of this awkward winter we are having? Look no further than Deliberately Ambiguous. Five exhibitions at The Harbourfront Centre organized in conjunction with the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. You will be confused in the most positive way possible, and pushed to the limits of design, art and craft. This event is also FREE, because you know it’s better by the water!

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  • “The City of Toronto, in partnership with OCAD University, has launched a temporary, digital art installation at Union Station. The interactive exhibit, called Memory Capsule, pays tribute to the venerable station and cherished public space, which is undergoing a major revitalization”. There you have it! Taking the subway can be boring, but Union station has ramped up the artistic exposure with this installation, taking us all to the next level, and down to the Waterfront of course!

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EVENTS:

  • For the very first time, the Waterfront is hosting it’s own Sugar Shack – Quebec style too! Taking a page out of Canadian history and tradition, maple syrup tasting is a must for all Torontonians and tourists alike. It really makes you want to say Canadian eh? Catch this experience March 12th and 13th. Don’t forget to check out all the local food trucks serving up popular eats from around the city – our favourite the Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich from Caplansky’s!

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  • If you have ever been to a convention at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, then you know anything is possible here. The venue was made for events like Comicon! You don’t have to be a die hard fan of Comics or Superhero’s either. This year will be featuring guests such as Jason Isaacs from Harry Potter and Tovah Feldshuh who plays Deanna from The Walking Dead! Guaranteed you will see someone dressed as Deadpool, and hey maybe this is your chance to put on that Catwoman costume you’ve been meaning to wear again. With over 400 exhibitors, you’ll be sure to find something that excites the hidden sci-fi lover inside all of us. March 18th-20th. Tickets: http://comicontoronto.com/tickets/

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FOOD:

  • Miku restaurant – The best sushi experience in Toronto. The sushi looks like art, and tastes amazing. Sweet and flavourful, there is no need for Soy Sauce. The Sake pairs well too! Convienently located in 10-20 Bay Street, WaterPark Place is accessible through the PATH or off of Bay St and Queens Quay. Stop by before you hop on a flight at the Billy Bishop Airport or have your next lunch meeting here.

 

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  • Watermark Irish Pub and Restaurant  – Our go to place for after work food and drinks! Literally situated on the water at the Queens Quay Terminal, you will want to indulge in a Guinness or two. Be sure to stop by on March 17th for St Patrick’s Day festivities!

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  • Harbour Sixty – Ideal for those looking for an exquisite up-scale steakhouse experience. Classic and on-point, Harbour Sixty is frequented by our clients for business lunches and after work rendezvous. Mouth-watering goodness!

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  • C’est What?!? Located at 67 Front St. East., this spot is a mix of board games and fireplaces, craft beer and delectable wine selections if you’re into that kind of thing! Good for a night out with friends or an after work unwind.

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HOTEL:

  • Our number one hotel choice is the Le Germain – connected via the PATH and located right in Maple Leaf Square, Le Germain offers a unique boutique hotel experience, with original décor and stellar service –  you will feel like a celebrity visiting Toronto for TIFF! Trust us, you’ll like it. Book here: http://www.legermainhotels.com/en/torontomls/

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Oh yeah, The Waterfront’s Singing Ambassadors are hiring for the summer season. If you like to sing and hang out by the Waterfront, you should definitely apply! We would love to see you around.

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Connect with us to stay in the loop with what is happening on the Waterfront Work Community!

 

The Scoop is out for December!

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The Scoop is out for December! Check out what is happening at your Waterfront work community. Events, ice skating and eggnog, December is the time for spreading your Holiday cheer!

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Workplace Fraud 101 Rise & Shine Breakfast Seminar with David Malamed from Grant Thornton

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Join us for a very special and important Rise & Shine Breakfast Seminar

Workplace Fraud 101:

With the typical organization losing 5% of its revenues to fraud each year, it is paramount to learn how to prevent, deter and detect issues. David Malamed will present on the realities of internal fraud using real life examples and stories. The presentation will focus on:

  • Victim mindset
  • Preventative controls
  • Techniques to identify and qualify red flags
  • Reduce risk and exposure
  • Avenues for recovery

When: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 – 8 a.m.

Where: Pacific Room, The Rostie Group, 20 Bay St. WaterPark Place, Toronto, Ontario

Email rsvp@rostiegroup.com to confirm your attendance.

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Presenter Profile: David Malamed CPA,CA.IFA, CPA (IL), CFE, CFF, CFI
As a Forensic Accounting Partner with the Grant Thornton Specialist Advisory Services practice, David works with clients helping them understand, investigate and manage their risk. He is the Canadian Chartered Accountant Magazine’s Technical Editor for Fraud and a regular columnist. In 2012 and 2013 David’s column was awarded the Kenneth R. Wilson award. David has investigated, reported and managed numerous fraud investigations involving both civil and criminal allegations. He also works with clients in establishing and implementing anti-fraud controls that reduce risks and maximizes detection of potential issues. David is a Chartered Professional Accountant, a Chartered Accountant specializing in Investigative Forensic Accounting, a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiners and a Certified Fraud Investigators. David has qualified as an expert and provided testimony numerous

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Facilitating Meetings with Ease

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Facilitating Meetings With Ease –

Toronto: October 21-22, 2015

We’re all spending so much time in meetings and are being asked to achieve crucial goals that meeting process facilitation is fast becoming a core competency for anyone who’s on a team, leads a task force, heads up a committee or manages a department. Whether you’re new to facilitation or have years of experience, this workshop provides a unique opportunity to enhance your mastery of any group situation.

Learn essential skills from certified, veteran trainers who have taught meeting facilitation skills for years. Experience a dynamic and totally interactive learning environment.

The Learning Opportunity:

  • Core values, principles, and behaviors of meeting facilitation
  • Work with powerful process tools and techniques
  • Develop your confidence in handling resistance and dysfunctional behaviors
  • Receive personal feedback and coaching • Practice new tools in a safe learning environment

Who Should Attend:

  • Project managers – earn PDUs!
  • Six Sigma and Lean Professionals
  • Managers of any level who run meetings
  • Internal Consultants
  • Professionals who need to increase buy-in and decrease resistance in group settings
  • Team Leaders
  • Business Analysts Participants earn fourteen Professional Development Units through the Project Management Institute upon course completion.

Facilitation First has been a Registered Education Provider since 2006 and our current Provider rating is 92.39% (average rating for all providers is 85.61%).

Workshop Agenda

Module One – Introduction to Facilitation Roles & Beliefs of a Facilitator Partner Interview: The Five Core Practices Distinguishing Process and Content Leadership Norming Lecturette and Exercise Giving and Receiving Feedback

Module Two – Decision-Making Moving on Up! Exercise The Decision-Making Roadmap Converging and Diverging Tools and Exercises Overview of Consensus-Building Testing for Agreement How Neutral do Facilitators have to be?

Module Three – Meeting Management The Fundamentals of Meeting Management Exit Survey Review and Exercise Case Study: “Meeting in Overtime”

Module Four – Managing Conflict Healthy Debates versus Dysfunctional Arguments Conflict Management Tips The Language of Intervention and Exercises Q&A, Evaluations, Wrap-up

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Facilitating Meetings With Ease

Workshop Outcomes

Module One: Introduction to Facilitation

  • Understanding the importance of ‘facilitation’ as a key leadership core competency within the context of running effective meetings and managing diverse groups
  • Getting clarity as to the role and beliefs of the facilitator in the context of creating powerful meetings
  • Experiencing the power of pairs and how to minimize group resistance through the use of the ‘buy-in frame’
  • Learning the 5 core facilitation practices and how to use these to gain group alignment
  • Understanding the importance of ‘process’ versus ‘content’ as the foundation for understanding dialogue
  • Reviewing how to initiate and maintain a facilitation
  • The importance of defining ‘purpose’ and ‘process’ in creating the meeting context
  • Exploring the use of norms in helping groups understand interpersonal and task related expectations

Module Two: Introduction to Group Decision-Making

  • Experiencing criteria based decision grids – a more sophisticated approach to prioritization versus ‘pros and cons’
  • Understanding the five most used decision-making options: from ‘delegation’ to ‘consensus building’
  • Learning how to choose and facilitate the right decisionmaking option
  • Practice using methods for giving and receiving peer feedback

postitnotesModule Three: Introduction to Meeting Management

  • Learning how to apply the learning immediately to relevant work situations
  • Understanding the parameters of facilitator neutrality
  • Developing knowledge on the nine basic fundamental elements of running effective meetings
  • Practicing how to develop a process design for a ‘planned’ intervention
  • Using exit surveys as a methodology for making group and/or meeting improvements

Module Four: Introduction to Group Conflict Management

  • Distinguishing immediate vs. planned interventions and when either is required
  • Reviewing proactive techniques to handle common types of meeting conflict
  • Practice using the three-step language of intervention model in dealing with common blocks during meetings

For almost 20 years, Facilitation First has been top of mind for those seeking training in process facilitation. Our Facilitating with Ease workshop has been honed by Ingrid Bens, author of the national bestselling books ‘Facilitating with Ease and ‘Facilitation at a Glance!’. With thousands of participants rating the course an average 4.5 out of 5, we provide an experiential workshop process that equips learners with simple yet powerful tools that they can apply in their next meeting. What You’ll Receive You leave our workshop with the tools you need to combat wasted meeting resources.

You get access to online customizable templates, a textbook filled with meeting designs and intervention techniques, and the personal feedback and coaching from participants and the trainer. Our certified trainers are ‘facilitators first,’ who bring this real-world experience to the classroom.

 

Register Today!

| http://www.facilitationfirst.com |

call 416-465-9494 or email us at info@facilitationfirst.com

Dates: October 21-22, 2015 Times: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Location: The Rostie Group, 20 Bay Street, WaterPark Place, Suite 1100, Toronto, ON

Trainer: Kevin Quinn

Fee: $1,100 + HST ask about our discounts

What Some of our Clients Are Saying…

“Kevin was phenomenal. A true facilitation guru. Felt at ease and learned a lot of practical tools.” Cathy Katrib-Reyes, Project Coordinator, CBC

“This workshop was a carefully perfected blend of content, process and opportunities to practice in a safe and supportive environment that encouraged risk taking and reflection. Top shelf!” Monica Wand, Vice Principal, York Region District School Board

“This training shocked, amazed and inspired me. After just two days, I feel equipped to bring operational improvements to my organization.” Joe Crampton, VP Product, BPS Resolver

About Your Trainer: Kevin Quinn

Meet the meeting doctor. We all know that an innovative facilitation process can make the difference between a dysfunctional work group and a high performing team. Kevin models and teaches leaders how to design and facilitate meetings to get the best results from individuals and groups. Kevin provides expert meeting facilitation, especially as a teacher or troubleshooter of these skills. His expertise includes teaching people on how to deal with difficult stakeholders, how to negotiate to get results and how to use creative problem solving with individuals & teams. He has mentored and taught business and thought leaders in the public and private sector in North America and the UK. Every year he runs an adventure leadership school in Canada’s subarctic, teaching leadership in an environment where the decisions you make are a matter of life and death. Kevin combines academic achievement with practical experience as a project manager and general manager in large public and private organizations. Kevin has helped a wide range of business partners to navigate organizational challenges and improve their business results. He is the instructor of record at the City of Toronto’s leadership development program and the Schulich School of Business Health Administration MBA program. He teaches extensively in the health care, banking and municipal government sectors.

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www.facilitationfirst.com

info@facilitationfirst.com

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