By Shana Bosler on 10 Jan, 2019 9:05:00 AM
When organisations and teams explore our signature Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) workshop to support individual or team development, it’s common for questions to arise about its structure, applications and impact. Even organisations that regularly host MOTM seminars will receive questions from new hires or teams who have not yet experienced the power of Emergenetics®.
To help you get answers quickly, here are the most commonly asked questions we receive about the Meeting of the Minds:
How many people should attend an MOTM?
In a traditional MOTM, we recommend having 10 to 50 attendees. If there are less than 10 participants, it may be challenging to have all of the Thinking and Behavioural Attributes represented within the group, which can impact how your attendees understand each preference and experience the workshop. For small groups, we offer alternative programs designed to meet your team’s needs.
It is certainly possible to have more than 50 participants in an MOTM, and we recommend that additional facilitators or assistants support the workshop. Our seminars include activities designed to give attendees opportunities to practice their learnings, so additional facilitators are needed to effectively engage each participant in large groups.
Should this workshop be held for intact teams or staff members from across the company?
The answer to this question depends on your ultimate goals as the MOTM is valuable in just about any situation. When you host the workshop for intact teams, they learn about the preferred Thinking and Behavioural Attributes of the colleagues they interact with most often, which can enhance collaboration and understanding within the group.
The experience is also valuable for staff members across departments. As cross-functional projects become increasingly common, it can be helpful for employees in various departments to learn about their preferences and how those impact team dynamics. Using the MOTM across your organization can also help you establish a common language to build a culture of understanding and to better utilise cognitive diversity.
What is the value of doing an MOTM in person?
According to research cited by the Association for Talent Development, in-person trainings are still more effective than virtual trainings. When you host workshops in person, you can more easily answer questions, foster discussion and address challenges or confusion. In-person trainings also allow you to more readily ensure that attendees are fully focused on the presentation and engaged in group activities to reinforce learning.
Can I have input on planning the MOTM workshop?
The Meeting of the Minds has been perfected over more than 20 years, so there are portions of the workshop that are consistent across seminars to ensure that attendees understand the Emergenetics Attributes and can apply their learnings.
And you do have input. Our starting point in any workshop is to understand your objectives so that we can tailor the program to address these needs. We host a call prior to the workshop with your MOTM facilitator to ensure that we are all on the same page going into the session and can include examples and topics related to your objectives and participants.
What types of activities take place?
We use several activities to engage attendees and support retention of the material they are learning. Some activities involve the entire group and allow participants to understand each other’s preferences, shining light on team dynamics.
We also include small group interactions that help individuals learn how to better collaborate with those who think and behave differently from them as well as understand the value of cognitive diversity. There is also time for individual reflection to help attendees understand their own strengths.
Do we discuss individuals’ results of the Profile assessment?
The MOTM highlights the brilliance of every Attribute, so we encourage individuals to share their Profiles during the workshop. The power of Emergenetics comes from both understanding yourself as well as sharing your preferences with others. Doing so enables you to work together more productively. We highly encourage all attendees to share their results.
Who facilitates the session?
The Emergenetics team will only send Certified Associates to lead an MOTM workshop. These individuals have participated in a three-and-a-half-day training program to gain in-depth understanding of Emergenetics principles and workshop delivery. Certified Associates also take part in a blueprint process that demonstrates their learning and must complete a continuing education program each year to remain active.
How much time is required for the MOTM and why?
The MOTM is hosted as a half- or full-day workshop. The seminar uses adult learning theory and engages participants in a mix of lecture as well as activities to maximise engagement with and retention of the concepts shared during the program. Four to eight hours are needed to ensure that participants truly understand and are able to apply the content of the workshop.
It’s not just another one of those team building days, is it?
There are certainly elements of the workshop that support team building, and the day is about a lot more. The agenda of an MOTM is strategically planned so that we begin by digging into the 30-plus years of research and data behind the tool. We then walk through the strengths of each Attribute before attendees receive their Profiles. The remainder of the session uses large- and small-group activities to support learning and retention. Parts of it may make you feel stretched, or as we say at Emergenetics scratchy, as you challenge yourself to communicate and work effectively with preferences other than your own.
What do I get with an MOTM?
Along with the workshop, attendees receive an easy-to-remember, colour-coded Emergenetics Profile and a Narrative Report explaining how their Profile impacts how they lead, communicate and collaborate.
Attendees also gain access to the Emergenetics+ app and online portal. These tools allow participants to request to connect with other individuals with Emergenetics Profiles. Once the request has been approved by the other party, app users can receive customised tips to strengthen communication and collaboration with one another.
Workshop attendees can also use the app or portal to access resources that help them use Emergenetics in their daily work to improve the way they deliver feedback, give recognition, run a meeting and more.
What do we do after the session?
There is a lot that you can do after the workshop to keep the lessons from the Meeting of the Minds alive. I wrote a blog post about this not long ago. To share a few highlights, I recommend using the Emergenetics+ app before going into a meeting to get tips to improve communication with your colleagues. I also recommend working through the job aids from the app in team meetings to apply Emergenetics to resolve conflict, communicate across all Attributes and more. For more ideas, I encourage you to read my blog post here.
The Meeting of the Minds is a powerful experience for any organisation seeking to strengthen communication, improve collaboration and build a positive workplace culture. If you have any other questions about hosting an MOTM, feel free to connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was originally published in Emergenetics International Blog “The 11 Most Frequently Asked Questions About the Meeting of the Minds Workshop".