As a facilitator hearing the words, "let's make a list" is like music to your ears. You know how helpful making a list can be and you have the tools and techniques to help make a robust list of options. If you've been facilitating for a while, you also know that it's unlikely that anything will happen next unless you make some choices.
Does this sound familiar? Perhaps the session got started a little late. Suddenly, you're out of time, the client has to leave and no choices have been made. Or maybe the client says something like, "Oh, I love all the ideas, and I don't want to lose any of them, so I'll just keep the whole list."
It is human nature to resist the focus required to narrow the list of options, so it shouldn't be surprising that the excitement that comes from making a long list is often replaced by tension when it comes time to make choices.
Embrace your role as process leader by being prepared with the right language to help the client make appropriate choices, no matter what step of the process you are facilitating. Helping the client choose will go a long way to ensure that the marketing project will continue to move forward
Here are some ways to manage choice making in each step of the process:
- Objective Step: When choosing from a list of marketing objectives, "We can help you with any of these marketing objectives, we just need to know which one you'd like us to generate ideas for first."
- Ideas Step: When choosing from a list of ideas, "I will read the entire list of ideas back to you. Please say 'check' when you hear an idea you feel will accomplish the marketing objective." (Ultimately, you will need to narrow to five ideas, then use criteria to select the top idea to develop.)
- Development Step: When choosing campaign elements, "I will read this development list back to you without stopping. Let me remind you the campaign needs to have a name, a variety of communication tools and persuasive messaging. You may choose as many items as you want. Please say 'check' when I read an element you want to include. The elements need to make sense together so the campaign will be cohesive."
Contact Creative Resources for more help with making choices.