The importance of an efficient facilitator
The role of the facilitator is crucial in ensuring a successful workshopping session, and akin to that of a coach: support the team and guide them towards their objectives.
Goals and expectations need to be clarified, and a strategy needs to be in place to reach the intended targets. Any potential hurdles need to be anticipated, and pain points from the session noted down to ensure improved performance for any subsequent sessions.
Multiple devices in the same room can cause unwanted feedback, echos and distracting issues that disrupt the session. Mic levels and multi-device set-ups need to be tested beforehand.
- Consider preparing a separate agenda to guide you through the meeting in short increments, thus ensuring maximum participation and engagement from your team. Have a clearly defined purpose, what are you aiming to achieve?
- Always be the first to the session. Arrive about 10-30 minutes early and be sure that the tools function as intended and all the documentation is either to hand or pre-loaded.
- Prepare strong opening and closing statements. Use the introduction to clearly define each role, and re-iterate the agenda and intended goals.
- Give thought to introductions and ice-breakers. Set out the ground rules, for example, no eating.
- Think about how you manage behaviours. Do you know your team and what they can contribute to the outcome? Can you play to individuals strengths and anticipate the potential impact of their weaknesses?
- Do not allow people to become ideas assassins – those who consistently shoot down others’ suggestions. Progress often needs nurturing.
- Is everyone engaging as they should be? Watch for expressions or signs of being distracted. Decide if a break is required.
Conclusions drawn from the session should be agreed upon and adapted into attainable future goals. Be clear with the outcomes and be sure to communicate them effectively in a format that ensures everyone is on the same page.
Regardless of the tools you employ, an efficient facilitator can make or break a workshop. If you’re leading a workshop, read up on the 3 techniques to keep your team motivated and aligned.
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