Facilitation is a technique used by trainers to help learners acquire, retain, and apply knowledge and skills. Participants are introduced to content and then ask questions while the trainer fosters the discussion, takes steps to enhance the experience for the learners, and gives suggestions. They do not, however, do the work for the group; instead, they guide learners toward a specific learning outcome. Leaders who use facilitation skills as part of how they run their team are often more effective managers.
Also, basic verbal tools, such as paraphrasing, referring back and summarising help a lot to show the group that their thoughts are being heard. A facilitator understands that being an active listener also means using positive feedback to encourage quiet people to get directly involved in the session. If you were to work on improving just one facilitation skill, this is a great place to start. Spending time deepening connections in a team building workshop and seeing your colleagues as much more than the job they do or simply learning better ways to help other people feel seen and heard in a meeting can be transformative. In my experience, teams that regularly facilitate sessions or use facilitation in their work are also happier and more connected.
What Is Facilitation?
Finding ways to improve student mental health during studies can benefit everyone. A quarter of people have reported that their workplace stress is the major source of stress in their lives. This worry and anxiety are correlated closely with health problems, including coronary events and heart attack. Additionally, in the US the problem results in a loss of $300 billion annually and is responsible for more than a million workers absent from work on a given day. Finding ways to reduce employee stress will help improve productivity and the mental health of employees.
There is no universal solution for facilitation, as each mode has its own advantages and disadvantages. To help you decide on a mode, consider the goals and outcomes of the session, the characteristics and needs of the participants, the availability and suitability of the resources, and the advantages and disadvantages of each mode. Online facilitation refers to facilitating a group session using digital platforms, such as video conferencing tools, chat apps, or collaborative software.
Facilitators Are Essential to Agile Teams
When facilitation skills are used effectively, group members are more likely to commit to and support the decisions. They feel like they have been involved in the process, and their voices have been heard. As a result, there is increased buy-in from all group members, which leads to improved implementation of decisions. Groups need meetings that make progress, and good facilitation can make this possible. A skilled facilitator, or process manager, designs an effective process and guides the discussion so that it gets results. In many groups, poor dynamics begin to manifest as certain members of the team begin to dominate discussions.
At a high level, facilitation involves ideation, analysis and consensus building. Facilitators have to be well versed in the problem at hand and the people involved in making a decision. When a leader can facilitate discussions effectively, it can also help build strong relationships within the group. When a leader can guide a group discussion efficiently, it can lead to what are the advantages of facilitation more productivity as ideas are generated and discussed effectively. There are many different techniques that a facilitator can use, but some of the most common ones include brainstorming, problem-solving, and role-playing. Brainstorming is a great way to generate new ideas, while problem-solving can help the group find ways to overcome any obstacles they may be facing.
What are some of the challenges and benefits of facilitating online versus in person?
For facilitation training and learning other ways to improve your skills as a facilitator, reach out to us. The team that encourages open communication will also be better equipped to find new opportunities that arise. The brands that innovate, find new paths forward, uncover new ways to serve customers, and build their brand loyalty are those willing to think outside the proverbial box and willing to take chances. The fresh exchange of ideas encourages these teams to take these types of risks and explore the resolutions that can lead to the uncovering of innovative opportunities.
The clearer boundaries above are helpful in understanding the variations on facilitation, but there remains confusion about how facilitation intersects with other distinct disciplines. Because facilitation is a broad construct and there exists a relative lack of unifying language and frameworks, compound language is often useful in narrowing down the role. Facilitators make interventions within processes with the intent of improving them. Ask someone to define facilitation though, whether they’re a facilitator or a client of facilitation, and you’ll be met with a wide range of answers. Facilitation is important to job industries across the globe, including for remote teams who must collaborate virtually.
Facilitation Management Conclusion
While there is a simple definition of facilitation, it sometimes fails to capture the essence of the skillset and what makes it a distinct and powerful tool. You may not need a pro to help you navigate an everyday situation, but the skills of facilitation can be applied to your daily work. What about when you’re holding regular, day-to-day meetings and can’t hire a facilitator? Next, let’s talk about how you can bring the skill of facilitation into your everyday work life. Three team members independently screened one-third of the references for inclusion.
First, explore your strengths as a facilitator, and then dive into opportunities to develop your weaknesses. You may also ask a participant to assist with minute-taking or have a dedicated visual practitioner to capture outcomes. All the insights recorded will provide a useful baseline for action-setting and follow-up.
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In an academic environment, this can mean that students achieve more of their learning objectives, covering more material and gaining improved preparation for their degrees or training, so they will excel in the work environment. They help to encourage those in the space to work together and see what they can accomplish jointly. A facilitator should be able to “walk a mile in another’s shoes” to understand the learners’ or team members’ feelings. All these individuals work in the service of a group or an individual and hope to help them solve problems, often empowering people to make changes themselves. As a small, manageable microcosm of team dynamics, a meeting is also an ideal place for newbies to practice and apply knowledge of facilitation. If you’re just getting started, try bringing some of the facilitation principles to your next workplace meeting and set what happens.
- Holding this neutral, impartial position also means creating space for all voices to be heard and given equal weight and consideration.
- They might find themselves coming up with a new potential solution that had not previously been tried.
- Sometimes this is in a specific format, such as running a kickoff workshop at work.
- Facilitation is one of the 23 capabilities in ATD’s Talent Development Capability Model.
- A facilitator guides the group through a structured or unstructured process, such as a meeting, workshop, brainstorming session, or training program.
- Facilitative leaders engage with each person, soliciting ideas and opinions whenever a decision must be made.
When challenges or issues arise in your culture or process of establishing greater accountability at every level, which they always do…., the Facilitator program means you have internal support you can turn to right away. This team has been grounded in the process, they know the tools, the questions to ask and are prepared to help support the ongoing implementation of the training initiative. It’s normal and expected for disagreement to arise when a group of passionate people gets together on a topic. Without an effective facilitator, conflict may lead to an impasse, while a skilled facilitator knows how to support the group through disagreement and how to show the group to use conflict to come to a well-considered decision. As the group improves their collective behaviour and communication skills, they also reduce any potential frustration felt within the team. People feel respected and heard throughout the discussions, which therefore improves collective feelings amongst team members.
What are the principles of facilitation?
In some cases, you may get a helping hand from the client’s side, and someone will help you to have everything arranged as you have designed and requested. In other cases, you might need to do this alone step-by-step, checking that everything is going fine with the logistics and pulling the right strings when something is needed. Whether you run a dedicated planning session for your workshop or communicate with clients and participants over email, staying organized is an important job you can’t afford to miss. So is having catering arranged in order to ensure food and drinks are available during breaks, and having the right workshop equipment at hand. This can be easy to overlook, but ensuring you get this right is part of facilitation best practices. Missing a vital piece of equipment can be frustrating or stressful and make group facilitation more difficult.