A facilitation expert can ensure the successful outcome of a strategic planning event such as a meeting or retreat. Most companies hire these professionals with the goal of being able to create more organized events where critical issues can be discussed. Your company may be struggling with a particular project or internal problem. It is important to seek a professional who also creates buy-in from participants. Employees should leave the event feeling like part of a productive unit that accomplished a set of goals. These results increase each attendee’s belief in the group as a whole. Employees become motivated to continue working together in this manner long after the facilitated event. While these experts do not guarantee absolute success, they are a vital component of achieving a specific plan. Reaching an objective through creative thinking is almost impossible without them. A highly qualified individual can help your company create an effective strategy as well as achieve specific goals. They assist in planning and keep a well balanced, productive conversation throughout the event. Consider seeking facilitators for hire over using an internal employee during these high priority meetings.

Why Are Unskilled Facilitators a Bad Idea?

Any kind of business meeting can be difficult because they consist of a mixture of goals, personal values, and beliefs regarding company direction. Every perspective is important but must be handled appropriately. It is common to have conflicting views during these discussions. These hinder a group’s ability to maintain a more long term perspective. Working relationships, common behavior patterns, and past knowledge all affect the productivity of these events as well. Having an unskilled leader attempt to facilitate this type of gathering can increase these complications. Professional facilitators have a more objective viewpoint when it comes to management and the overall planning process. When an attendee is speaking based on habit or past experience, a professional can help determine if it is pertinent to event goals. If it is not, the professional facilitator may point out the deviation to create a more efficient discussion. Participants are not allowed to dominate the meeting. Everyone gets an opportunity to express their ideas in an effective manner.

What happens when a company uses an unskilled facilitator? Typically, the discussion ends up pertaining to non-goal oriented issues. Participants spend much of meeting going over past experiences. Mundane details keep everyone from focusing on the overall objective or big picture – there is too much “majoring in the minors”. Utilization of creative thinking to move the company forward is minimal. Specific actions are never decided or carried out. Professional facilitators have no personal connection to the company. They do not know the entire history of previous planning sessions. These professionals know the current goal at hand and have the skills necessary to direct a group toward outlined goals. Find someone who has the necessary qualifications and experience when seeking facilitators for hire. They should be familiar with your area of business. External professionals have a lot to offer when holding a vital company event. Thoroughness in selection will ensure you get exactly what the group needs to be productive.