Have you ever left a workshop feeling no closer to achieving your goal than when you went in? Do you want your team to be more involved in making decisions but they keep looking to you for the answer? Are there underlying issues that you can’t get the team to move past?
These are just some of the things that we can help with as external impartial facilitators.
What is a facilitator?
Wikipedia: A facilitator is someone who engages in the activity of facilitation. They help a group of people understand their common objectives and assists them to plan how to achieve these objectives; in doing so, the facilitator remains “neutral” meaning he/she does not take a particular position in the discussion. Some facilitator tools will try to assist the group in achieving a consensus on any disagreements that preexist or emerge in the meeting so that it has a strong basis for future action
Why should you engage an external facilitator? After all you have led many workshops before in which you have also been participating in the discussion too.
Here are our top reasons:
Independence. An external workshop facilitator brings an independent perspective which allows them to better resolve alternative viewpoints among workshop members and keep meetings on track. Participants don’t feel like they’re being led towards any specific outcomes by someone who has a stake in what happens.
Full engagement. Most people find it almost impossible to guide a discussion, record key points and make a meaningful contribution. Hiring an external facilitator for meetings and workshops means you can be fully engaged in discussions rather than focused on the process and documenting discussions.
The right preparation. Good preparation is one of the keys to successful workshops, and we save you time by doing most of the preparation for you. It takes at least a full day to prepare for a single-day workshop, and busy executives often do not have the capacity to commit this sort of time.
Attention to detail. We pay attention to the small details that often get overlooked. We can coordinate all the materials needed to make the session run smoothly as well as bringing along props to create more engaging and effective group sessions.
Managing personalities. Managing meeting dynamics can be difficult, especially when you know the people in the room. Keeping a meeting on track and managing conflict is core to producing useful outcomes, and so our facilitators are trained to ensure that everyone has a say, and no single view-point dominates the discussion.
Action-orientation. We ensure you get value from your meetings and workshops by providing you with actionable documentation of workshop outcomes. This includes a summary of the discussion and outcomes of each session and the agreed next steps, so that no decisions get lost and you can implement your plans immediately.
Seeing the big picture. Our facilitators are skilled at honing in on the big issues and passion points, while also balancing the big picture. We add value during the session by keeping everyone on track and making sure that the focus and the outputs will make a real difference to business outcomes.
If you’re interested in how seeing how External Facilitation could work for your next team workshop, then get in touch for a chat with one of the team