in Communication, Leading People, Leading Projects, Team Building

Effective Facilitation 25

  • A novice manager tells people what needs to be done. A wise manager listens, questions and challenges.
  • People are not interested in what you tell them to do (command and control). They are interested in what they control and learn from what they are doing (empowerment).
  • Facilitation helps in both. In getting things done and ensuring that team members learn from that process.
  • The purpose of facilitating is: to get something done and to ensure that the person who is executing learns something valuable from the process of doing.
  • Facilitation is the key to developing people. A tool to lead.
  • Further, effective facilitation is also the key to build a great team.
  • If we are dealing with professionals, why do they need facilitation? They need facilitation so that they can work together as a team, do it better, faster, more creatively and more effectively.
  • Facilitation helps people reach their potential and elevate performance.
  • If you are a manager who is facilitating a team, you are not more powerful than them. You serve them, so that they become better and make you look good.
  • The act of facilitation should make things easy for them. If you are not conscious about how you are facilitating, you can make it difficult.
  • Facilitating someone in doing something is a great way to learn newer aspects of your work. Remember the rule? We learn only a bit of what we are taught, we learn a great deal of what we do and we learn the most when we teach someone.
  • In a group, facilitation starts with a common objective that everyone understands. That is #1 job of facilitator.
  • If common objective is not understood/defined, facilitation helps them achieve consensus on the goal.
  • You can facilitate someone on three key areas: The purpose of work (Why), the process of achieving that purpose (How) and specific tasks in that process (What).
  • Additionally, you can facilitate someone so that their expectations are managed, understood and communicated. To address their real concerns.
  • People will only allow you to facilitate them when they see value. Ensure that they see the value early in the facilitation process.
  • The art of facilitation also involves knowing when NOT to facilitate. Facilitation does not equal spoon feeding. Show them the way and let them run.
  • The starting point of facilitation is listening. Acknowledging the experiences of the team member, appreciate what they say and encourage them to be open.
  • Clarity is at the heart of good facilitation. If you don’t understand their problem OR are not able to provide clarity to them on your viewpoints, facilitation does not help. Confirm, clarify and reflect.
  • Questions are your tools to clarify – open ended questions that bring out the real thing.
  • In a group situation or meetings, it is very crucial for the facilitator to balance between the extremes of clarity and ambiguity. To remain focused on the objective without getting impatient or biased is a challenge.
  • Sometimes, facilitation also means that you have to let go of the agenda and focus on an individual/team’s real problems.
  • Facilitation is about designing conversations that really matter and make a difference.
  • People make mistakes. Allow them, for their mistakes are their opportunities to learn. Share feedback.
  • Facilitation is at the core of modern day management. Teams need facilitation, clients need facilitation and individuals need facilitation. On a second thought, all the fundamentals of effective facilitation are also the fundamentals of effective management. No?

– – – – –

Join in the conversation: As a manager or a leader, do you see yourself as a facilitator? What are your lessons? Share them here.

  1. @TV I agree with you and that’s why I guess Agile is on same lines.

Comments are closed.


  • HR Bloggy Goodness | HREOnline's The Leader Board November 15, 2011

    […] Moving from the art world to the workplace, Wally Bock at Three Star Leadership writes that managers must enjoy enabling workers — if they are to be effective at their jobs. Want much more detail? Tanmay Vora at QAspire Blog provides 25 ways to effectively facilitate business strategies. […]