What is facilitation?
The word facilitation means “ease” or “promote”. It is much more than standing in front of a group, recording their thoughts and ideas on a board. It helps the team to identify difficulties, to build a consensus and develop plans to bring real solutions. It enhances team effectiveness by revealing participants ’ideas and engaging everyone in the conversation.
Involvement and commitment to group goals are key for taking individual responsibility and guarantee the realization.
A variety of visual facilitation tools and methods enable even introverted participants to contribute with their ideas.
The facilitator is neutral in terms of the subject but expert regarding the process, knowing exactly which elements will most likely promote the best quality problem solving or decision making mechanism to improve teamwork.
A good facilitator remains neutral while treating all participants equally.
- Plans the agenda, time frames, assigning realistically achievable goals
- Keeps the conversation on track by focusing on group objectives
- Involves and encourages participants to take an active part through various exercises and tasks, so that everyone can contribute with their opinion to the whole. Meanwhile, he tries to restrain overly dominant personalities.
- Helps the group deal with conflicts, handles differences of opinion in a calm, respectful way. The facilitator should intervene in case of disruptive behaviours immediately.
At the end of the discussions, the facilitator summarizes the outcomes of the session, builds consensus by summarizing team agreements on collective ideas and solutions.