The notion of “delegated roles” was invented by executive coach and systemic team coach Alain Cardon. The idea is to identify the responsibilities that inherently come with any group meeting and distribute them amongst different “roles”.
This way, all the participants are fully involved and you can avoid a backlog of tasks: organising the meeting, steering it, leading it, taking notes, making decisions, etc.
Perfect for medium-sized teams that meet regularly, this method favours co-responsibility and team spirit, whilst boosting efficiency and time management.
- a presentation of the delegated roles
- Present the roles that need delegating and make sure that everyone understands them.
- Ask the participants who wants which role.
E.g.: a manager might volunteer to take on the role of keeping the meeting on track.
Some roles only intervene at specific points of the meeting, and it’s therefore important to set aside the relevant time, even if this is brief.
- suggests a working method, leads it and adjusts it if necessary
- encourages the group to make decisions and take action before going onto the next topic
- takes note of the decisions made (and sometimes the content of the discussions)
- stops the group at regular intervals (e.g. mid-way through, every 10/30 minutes) and just before the end so that the group is aware of how much time has passed and can keep moving from one activity to the next
- keeps a close eye to ensure that all processes, roles and group rules are being respected (supporting the facilitator)
- keeps the group informed of their observations
- gives feedback on the content and running of the meeting and the group dynamic during the last 5 minutes
In addition to these four roles, others may be delegated depending on the group’s needs:
- host (for meetings that take place in different locations each time)
- technician (if the meeting involves the use of complex equipment)
- scribe (to help the facilitator if there is a lot of content to be noted down).
- Anyone with a delegated role is also a full participant in the meeting. Nevertheless, the facilitator must explicitly specify when they are speaking as a participant, as by contributing to the conversation, they are temporarily stepping outside of their facilitator role.
- The use of delegated roles is suitable for meetings that are focused on making decisions. For information or consultation meetings, delegated roles have no benefit, and they can in fact slow the meeting down.
- The same individual can have one or several roles during a single meeting or over an entire period, depending on the specific circumstances.
E.g.: John is scribe for 1 month, Layla is facilitator and decision-driver for one session, etc.