Facilitation Tips n Tricks

By Katrina Harpell

Last week I started off my Facil Tips n Tricks blog by introducing you to the idea of starting your day/meeting with music to get everyone’s energy up right from the beginning.  To continue on with a music theme, other great tools to have on hand are snippets of music or sounds that instantly evoke a sense of urgency, a call to order, the end of time (so to speak).  Be creative, be unexpected, be tongue-in-cheek obvious!

Here are a few examples I like to use:

Urgency:  William Tell Overture (aka the theme song from The Lone Ranger TV series) – great for getting everyone back into a room after a break or at the end of a breakout discussion

Time’s Up (Quiet): Jeopardy Theme – If the team is working solo, perhaps building ideas, playing a quieter but very recognizable signal that time is almost up won’t throw people off their train of thought, but will still register with them that they need to finish quickly.

Time’s Up (Loud): Nothing beats an air horn!  Well – not an actual one, we don’t want to hurt people!  But there are so many ring tones on cell phones these days so use the timer and pick a ring tone that blares out an alarm, and TURN IT UP!

Background Music (Quiet): Classical – My personal favourite is the cello!  I find classical music peaceful and relaxing and it doesn’t interrupt your work.  It’s great to have running in the background when your group is doing some quiet contemplation.

Background Music (Loud): Themed playlist – Rock anthems, Top 40, 1980s 1 Hit Wonders, Christmas Classics!  (Too soon?)  Keep that energy level up!

I’m always looking for new ideas, so let me know what sounds/music do you like to use in working sessions?