What are facilitation skills and how to improve them?
What are facilitation skills and how to improve them?

With the rise of remote work and virtual meetings, facilitators must also be proficient in virtual facilitation techniques. Just as a facilitator helps to remove obstacles and streamline processes, an enabler creates an environment that encourages growth, development, and success. Through enablement, individuals are equipped with the means to maximize their potential and take ownership of their actions. Build the key skills needed to lead and effectively facilitate, coach, mentor, and teach agile teams. If you’re a manager or a team leader, you may well benefit from the reassurance of collaborating with someone who will create a conducive atmosphere for productive decision-making.

Obtaining certification as a facilitator further sets you apart from other candidates who may lack this recognized credential. Successful facilitation requires active listening to what your team has to say in order to help you steer the process toward success. Losing objectivity during a meeting, or becoming defensive or judgmental during a discussion, can hinder your ability to “hear” what your team is saying. Remember, this is not about you – it’s about what the group needs to move forward toward a solution.

Emotional Culture Workshop

Everyone has a story to tell, though without a framework or guiding principles, surfacing those stories in a way that makes everyone feel safe and head can be tricky – especially for new teams. Team building activities that combine self reflection, sharing and structure are great for helping people to get to know each other deeply and build better bonds. Getting outside and doing fun, physical activity can be a great way to bond teams and mix up a normal working routine. In this team problem solving game, participants team facilitation are asked to work to make holes in a grid of string and rope that can safely and effectively accommodate everyone in the group getting through at once. Team members are not allowed to touch the string or rope and with diverse groups, the difficulty this presents makes for an interesting problem solving challenge for teams to solve. Building on the concept of LEGO Serious Play, this exercise is a great way of encouraging play, out-of-the-box thinking and creative approaches to existing problems.

team facilitation

Continuous learning and improvement are essential for facilitators to excel in their role. Experienced facilitators actively seek feedback and reflect on their performance to refine their facilitation skills. A skilled facilitator understands the importance of designing and facilitating team-building activities that are engaging, purposeful, and tailored to the specific needs and dynamics of the team. Throughout the job search process, your facilitating skills and abilities become evident, showcasing your unique value as a facilitator. By demonstrating your diverse skills and abilities during the job search, you exemplify your proficiency in fostering effective communication, driving collaboration, and navigating complex group dynamics.

Active listening

Outdoor activities, including sending participants for a brisk walk, can do wonders, and so can a well-thought-out use of music in a workshop (including online!). An excellent facilitator develops a sense of what the group needs and has a suite of team building activities they can employ at a moment’s notice too. Below the surface lie life competencies and skills related to communication, time management, conflict resolution, project management, listening, and more.

As a facilitator, you should have a good eye for spotting when the group’s attention level as a whole is getting critically low. You will need practice to master the skills of picking up on the atmosphere, measuring the emotional temperature, and helping the group achieve its potential. This is the aspect of facilitation that includes moderation or “directing traffic” skills and these can have a massive impact on a team’s performance during a session. In the next paragraphs, we will go through some of the essential facilitation skills, through the lens of the “head, hearts, and hands” framework.

Consensus Building

They stay updated on the latest facilitation techniques and approaches, attending training sessions and seeking opportunities to facilitate different types of meetings or group activities. Team building activities are an integral part of effective facilitation, as they help foster collaboration, trust, and cohesion within a group. Although it is possible to practice some effective facilitation skills, here are ways to make them more effective, especially in the workplace.

team facilitation

Great facilitators are experts in bringing a group together, focusing on a problem and coming up with effective solutions. Ensuring efficiency is one of the cornerstones of business management, whether the business is a software company, retail organization or something else entirely. Choose a format that best supports your purpose and allows your team to move towards that goal. What this means is that when you get people into a room to resolve a problem or attend a workshop, you want to create a space where they can discover solutions.

What is business management?

While it is crucial to encourage open dialogue and diverse perspectives, facilitators must also guide the team toward achieving the desired outcomes. Having self-awareness about your strengths and weaknesses as a facilitator is an important skill that you can master. Teams can be your best “mirrors,” as they’re often more than willing to give you feedback – both good and bad.

  • Facilitators are often tasked with instigating or supporting change in a team or organization and know that the adoption of any change is the cumulative result of many small steps.
  • For facilitators, this means knowing the problem you want to solve and designing a process to help a team of people find a solution to that problem.
  • A workshop for a team to reflect on past conflicts, and use them to generate guidelines for effective conflict handling.
  • In short, business management is the process of managing and leveraging the resources of an entire business to achieve your business goals.
  • Creative games like this one can also be especially effective at helping introverts or distanced teams share with the group.

It stands for Objective, Reflective, Interpretive, and Decisional, and it guides the facilitator and the team through four levels of questioning that elicit facts, feelings, insights, and actions. The ORID model is useful for dealing with complex or controversial issues that require multiple perspectives and criteria. However, it may be time-consuming and demanding, and it requires a skilled facilitator who can ask the right questions and manage the group dynamics. When a team doesn’t trust one another, the atmosphere and culture of a team suffers. Creating space to align and create a shared understanding of what trust means to your team is a great way to build team bonds and improve the way you all work together. Regular, effective feedback is one of the most important ingredients in building constructive relationships and thriving teams.

Team of Two

Check out assessments, templates, and tools that help you with your training and facilitation delivery. Browse our newest facilitation titles, collections, bestsellers, and limited-time only book bundles. A facilitator must be able to keep the training or meeting focused toward achieving the outcome identified beforehand.

team facilitation

Checking-in emphasizes presence, focus and group commitment; checking-out emphasizes reflection and symbolic closure. This is especially useful with a remote team, where ensuring clear connection between team members who don’t share a physical office is especially important. As with any group process or workshop, taking the time to reflect, recap and check out can ensure the lasting impact of what was covered in the session. Creative thinking and imagination can play a large part in defining your team values and vision. By thinking up the ideal future state for the organization and envisioning the best possible version of your team and product, you then have touchstones for taking action today. You can help a group of people understand how they work together and identify changes that they can make to improve group performance.

The role of the meeting facilitator

You can do this by volunteering to facilitate meetings, workshops, or events for your team or organization. Additionally, you can join or create a community of practice or a peer group where you can exchange feedback and learn from other facilitators. You can also participate in online or in-person facilitation games, exercises, or challenges that will test your skills and challenge your assumptions. Group processes are human and messy (even when you know the frameworks and are proficient in group dynamics!). Shit happens.Being aware of our own responses is key to keeping our cool in such situations and, thereby, staying helpful to the group. To become a master of agile team facilitation, one must first understand the basics of agile and facilitation.

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