This month our focus is on Successful Facilitation - How do great facilitators make it look so easy?
The definition of Facilitate is “To Make Easy” or “Ease A Process”. A primary motivation to channel the potential of an individual, team or organisation results in inspirational facilitation.
Facilitation is our bread and butter at Collective Possibilities - we are called upon weekly to assist staff and leadership teams, boards of management, community organisations and corporate business to support them to; craft an inspiring vision, deploy a business strategy, strengthen team dynamics and relationships, make critical decisions, and solve wicked problems. All while creating a delicate balance in the group between participation and results.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you require an agile and skilled facilitator. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy finding out more about what successful facilitation looks like.
Successful Facilitation - Making Group-work Easy
We have been in the facilitation business for over 15 years and so think we know a thing or two about what makes a great facilitator. Some of the key attributes include:
Sensitivity to the group
Genuinely welcoming ideas and all contributions
Helping participants hear each other well
Holding the outcomes of the group in mind and guarding the process - balancing participation and results
Resourcefulness and creativity coupled with logical thinking
Excellent communication skills - specifically the ability to listen with empathy when the going gets tough (as it often does in workshops)
Getting out of the group's way to let them to do the work
Successful facilitators acknowledge the participants and harness the unique contributions of each group member in service of the end result. An effective facilitator increases the collective value of the entire group by directing the discussions to a specific outcome or consensus. Great facilitators make this look easy by creating spaces where people can speak their minds safely and be heard by each other, especially when there are strong or opposing opinions that need to be voiced. Effective facilitators are courageous, they name the blockers to group effectiveness and help teams find ways through. They support group members to move outside their comfort zones, so the team can build effective solutions together.
Some recent examples of where our facilitation is delivering meaningful results include:
Working with a large government bureaucracy to establish a departmental vision and coach the leadership group to be more active, courageous and effective in service of their vision
Designing and facilitating a two day Board of Management workshop for an education provider which supported them to formulate strategy and commit to practical actions to build organisational capability and sustainability
Supporting a team of leaders in the recreation industry to understand their team dynamics and design strategies to leverage off their strengths and minimise their de-railers
Underpinning all our facilitation work is an unwavering commitment to promoting self-awareness and personal and group responsibility. We believe that this is essential for healthy human beings. This assists us to work more consciously and develop empathy for others, which is hugely important when we are working collectively to uncover possibilities and inspire sustainable action.
“Leading is about learning to be a facilitator.” - Ashif Shaikh