Few companies teach facilitation as part of their leadership development agenda. And yet, if we want collaboration, if we want to grow teams, if we want to challenge talent in a meaningful way … being able to get the best out of meeting of minds becomes pretty important.
Excellence in facilitation shares much with what it means to be an outstanding coach:
- Conduct with a hidden baton but don't start to play any of the instruments
- Come with a beginner's mind … be open to being surprised
- Pass power to the participants
- Ask great questions
- Push for clarity around what the real issue is but avoid suggesting potential solutions
- Listen, listen, listen
- Summarise what has been agreed to
- Push for objective action regarding next steps
Good luck on your next opportunity to facilitate. It is one of the most difficult but at the same time rewarding leadership skills. Remember, from a career perspective, bringing the best out of a group session is something of a forgotten art.
Insights from "Facilitation - the Forgotten Art" by John Burdett.