Facilitator: Impartial administrator or enthusiastic addition?
Think for a moment about what you would expect from a facilitator who comes in to chair your meeting, event, workshop or training session. In my mind, he knows his place, gently leading the conversation without becoming a noticeable part of it himself. The major role of a facilitator is keeping to time, checking the clock, and making sure that everybody gets a turn to speak. Thankfully, I am not this kind of facilitator!
Facilitator enthusiasm gets your entire team talking
Have you ever been to one of those training sessions or workshops where nobody really wants to speak? There are always one or two extroverts who just love chatting, but the rest of the group largely goes unheard, counting down the minutes until the session ends. I’ve been to a few of these events, and had a chance to speak to the quieter members of the group afterwards.
The thing that I have consistently found is that the people who take a pensive, considered approach to the session – the ones that, to the naked eye, don’t appear to be doing much – are often the individuals with the most striking ideas and the most balanced understanding of the organisation. It is these people that you need to get involved in your decision making process!
Working as a facilitator, I have found that enthusiasm is catching – and that’s why I will never be the kind of facilitator to softly lead the conversation. My approach is getting involved, challenging your team to tease out the kind of honest, open responses that really make a difference in achieving your desired learning outcomes.
Facilitator skills blend independence and experience
There are many different ways for a facilitator to challenge a team, but I strongly believe that provoking people only works if you really know your stuff. If you are looking for a learning facilitator, be sure to find somebody who has worked with hundreds of different business, identifying the kinds of conversations and the types of question that really allow a facilitator to be an independent source, but also to become a vital part of the process. You can hear me talking more about my views on Business Speaker on our Youtube channel