There are certain personal and professional traits that every effective facilitator needs to have in order for him or her to succeed in facilitation. No matter what type of facilitation is warranted, the skills below are necessary if a facilitator is to lead a group to attain the goals that have been set at the beginning of the facilitated session.
Effective Facilitators Are Knowledgeable
Every facilitator needs to be clear on the purpose of the facilitation from the onset. There are many different types of facilitation, and each differs from the next in terms of scope, reach and purpose. Leading a strategic planning facilitation can be very different from conflict resolution or team building. A good facilitator knows this and comes prepared to tackle the particular challenges that each facilitation type requires.
A facilitator’s knowledge goes beyond his or her realm of expertise. He or she also needs to have a solid and clear understanding of the client’s organization as well as field of activity. Facilitators do not need to be experts in the business of their clients, but they do have to take it upon themselves to arm themselves with as much pertinent information as is necessary to make their facilitation meaningful and pertinent to the attendees.
An Effective Facilitator Is a Skilled Communicator
Part of an effective facilitator’s arsenal of skills includes the ability to listen actively to what a participant is saying – as well as to what is not being said – by picking up on non-verbal cues and varying voice inflections. A skilled facilitator is an expert communicator, one who is able to ask questions without being threatening and give answers without casting someone’s differing opinion aside.
Effective facilitators also know how to manage the process adroitly. They make sure no one is left behind and everyone feels that he or she is part of the process. Moreover, skilled facilitators help participants develop good communication techniques by mirroring these for them throughout the facilitation process.
Facilitators Love People
Successful facilitators are by nature people-lovers. They have a genuine respect for the uniqueness of every individual and believe that everyone has something to contribute to the success of the facilitation in their own way. They are sociable and empathetic individuals whose demeanor invites people to open up and share their opinions and experiences honestly.
All of our professional facilitators possess these traits and have many years of experience in the field. As a result of their efforts, hundreds of companies and individuals have undergone successful facilitation and achieved the success and goals they have set for themselves and their companies.