Facilitation is a technique that guides groups toward desired objectives and helps build understanding and agreement along the way.Anyone running a division, department, or project team should have the skill of facilitation. Whether it's a small or large group, the goal is to frame discussions, gather different points of view, manage any conflict that may arise, and reach a desired objective. To be successful, facilitators must keep track of the decision, noting key points and agreements, and be focused on consensus building.Our Essential Facilitation training program helps you understand the characteristics needed to be a facilitator for large and small groups.
The role of a facilitator is similar, regardless of the industry. They need appropriate organization, leadership, and communication skills to lead discussions productively. Overall, an effective facilitator:
Overall, the facilitator's role is to keep the group on task toward their intended objective.
An effective facilitator must have the skills to manage a discussion and overcome any conflicts or challenges that come up along the way. They must be able to bring out the best of those involved and help realize full participation within the group that leads to an intended outcome. Likewise, they should be capable of remaining neutral in the discussion, with the goal of guiding the group instead of advocating for a specific result.
Interaction Associates is a leader in facilitation training. Our flagship program, Essential Facilitation™, provides participants with the skills to feel confident and comfortable leading any group to their intended objectives. This training is delivered in a variety of ways: virtually or in-person, in a public workshop setting, or brought into your organization.
Contact us to learn more about Essential Facilitation
There are various facilitation techniques you might use to improve workflow and productivity during a meeting or discussion:
Facilitator training with appropriate techniques encourages a more effective way of finding solutions. Here are some benefits of facilitation training:
When you have a strategic plan in place, you can track progress and ensure that you're reaching your goals. Every team and department understands the larger strategies of the company, so everything they do impacts its success. This creates a top-down approach for tracking KPIs (key performance indicators).
The principles include:
Proper facilitation training can provide individuals with the qualities necessary to be an effective facilitator and enhance existing skills. Some of these qualities include:
Facilitation skills are what you use to offer resources and opportunities to people so that they can succeed or make progress. Examples include setting guidelines, being prepared, managing time effectively, active listening, and being flexible.
A facilitator might also be called: Counselor, Mentor, Evaluator, Tutor, Educator, Practitioner, Trainer, Workshop leader
Most of the time, we're focused on what facilitators should do, but there are a few no-no situations, too. These include:
When training others, have specific objectives in mind. Stay organized and prepared, stick to the time slot available so that people can go back to work, and focus on team interactions.
Do you spend time in meetings? If so, then you can benefit from facilitation training. These skills have been proven to improve meeting culture in organizations and have helped individuals feel more confident in their decision-making and communication skills inside and outside of meetings.
Leaders are visionaries. They see the big picture and can lead people to achieve their goals. On the other hand, facilitators bring people together to develop that vision and lead the group toward steps to achieve it.A facilitator can be a leader, but leaders aren't always good facilitators. That's why facilitation training is crucial for any leader.
A participant should never be "forced" into a discussion. During our training, we provide techniques to bring quiet members out of their shells. However, that might not always work. The facilitator must be respectful of how individuals want to participate. If it's causing an issue, the facilitator can have a private discussion with the participant outside of the discussion time to discuss any reservations they're having and how they can be addressed.
Bad facilitators are unable to move conversations forward, don't keep the interest of the group at heart, and can be overly passive on the process.
Our training prepares individuals with the tools to facilitate quiet groups. However, here are a few tips to get you started:
Virtual meetings have become the norm of the modern workplace. While a virtual meeting comes with its own obstacles, the core tools a facilitator has still apply. In some cases, adding a virtual producer to a meeting can be beneficial for the facilitator. If any technical issues come up, a producer can take care of it behind the scenes without interfering with the productivity of the meeting.
When deciding between an external or internal facilitator, determine what is best for the outcome of the meeting. If there is concern that an internal facilitator would not be able to stay neutral in a discussion, an external facilitator could be beneficial. If the mindset of someone who understands the team or organization is needed, an internal facilitator is recommended.
Process improvement is the business practice of analyzing, identifying, and improving the existing strategies to meet the best practice standards, optimize performance, and improve the user experience.
Different techniques are involved, and we can help you choose the best one for your needs. They include: