What is a facilitator ?

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I’m often asked about the role of a facilitator and how they can add value to the meetings, workshops or sessions they support.

You may find it beneficial to use an experienced independent facilitator to:

• Provide a planned and focussed structure for your event, and to manage the ongoing process in the room. By spending some time with a facilitator in the planning process, you can ensure that there are clear objectives, and a methodology that will deliver them. They can provide different perspectives, new approaches and methodologies, and creative tools and activities to support the achievement of your goal.

• Establish an environment where everybody gets to have a say, and where there is respect for openness and honesty. Your facilitator comes without ‘baggage’ – and as an independent ‘outsider’ they work without bias or influence – so enabling everyone’s voice to be heard is a key part of their role. They can help to minimise the effects of office politics, history, relationship challenges, and focus on bringing the core issues to the table.

• Provide challenge to participants. As an external party, your facilitator has the opportunity to challenge the status quo, to challenge what is proposed, and to be the ‘devils advocate’ in the room. As part of the process, they can generate challenge within the group, but providing a safe environment for that to happen.

• Help the group to tackle difficult issues and situations, acting as a mediator to enable the team to work through their challenges collaboratively, and come to an agreement that everyone can buy into. The facilitator can help to build consensus among the group, and can help to keep pace and focus in the group, rather than allowing discussions to spiral, and become non-productive.

• Ensure a group commitment to a plan, a change, an initiative. By discussing, agreeing and gaining consensus to the outcome, the team will be able to move forward after the event more effectively – enabling action, change and delivery to happen more quickly.

A facilitator is an expert in managing the process and dynamics of the group that is doing the work. Bringing skills that include mediation, coaching and mentoring, alongside a strong knowledge of individual and team dynamics and business knowledge and focus, a facilitator can really add value to your event. We have worked with a great variety of teams with a variety of workshop types and objectives – from strategy development, to team building to conflict resolution.

Click here to see what people said about our facilitation services, and see our FACILITATION page for a recent case study.

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