Making a process simpler or more efficient by careful design is the role of a facilitator, as with anything else, there are certain strength and weakness of a facilitator which you should take note of.
A facilitator guides participants as they go through a process. By assisting the participants in exploring their inner selves to identify their strengths and shortcomings, sharing their experiences, and learning from others’ experiences, they lead the participants on an experiential voyage of learning.
Facilitators accomplish this by assisting the group in analyzing their goals. Good facilitators are aware of their audience and use a tailored style when interacting with the group. They successfully organize, direct, and manage a group activity to ensure that goals are achieved. A skilled facilitator maintains objectivity and stays away from the actual subject.
6 Skills a Good Facilitator Must Have
What does it take to be a successful facilitator, exactly? What skills must you develop if you want to lead a team successfully toward its goal?
We have listed six competencies and strengths that I believe are “non negotiable” below. There are, of course, a lot more. Every facilitator, in actuality, has a distinct approach that lines up with a distinct competency. View it for yourself!
1. Good Communication Skills
An effective facilitator promotes open dialogue. By observing the group’s behavior, he monitors nonverbal cues and ensures that everyone has the opportunity to engage.
He guarantees meeting closure and paraphrases for explanation. Additionally, he makes sure that everyone is paying attention and staying on topic.
Communication skills has a huge influence on the strength and weakness of a facilitator
2. Good Listening Skills
Active listening is necessary for understanding the speaker’s message. According to statistics, most people only pay attention to between 25 and 50 percent of what they hear, and nearly 46 percent of what they hear is forgotten.
Effective listening is crucial if you don’t want to miss any of the message being communicated. Natural barriers to listening, such as noises, may exist. In addition, other barriers to listening may include boredom, talking more than listening, being preoccupied with personal matters, and preconceived notions and preconceptions.
A facilitator needs to practice active listening. By addressing them directly, making eye contact, nodding, maintaining an open stance, and other such actions, they should maintain a body language that gives the group a sense of security regarding his physical presence.
He should also be able to catch up on nonverbal signs and pay attention to the speaker psychologically by knowing what is not being said out loud. He shows that he is attentively listening by paraphrasing, repeating back what was said, and asking questions.
3. Rapport Development
The group should be able to connect with the facilitator. Building a relationship with the group requires trust and empathy. It’s important to identify shared beliefs, interests, and goals while interacting with a new group.
4. Organizing and logging facts and emotions
The data obtained throughout the discussion should be accurately recorded by the facilitator. He can either complete it personally or choose a note-taker for it. He may accomplish this using a flip chart. It’s crucial to pay attention to correctness and vital terms.
5. Synergy Development
In any workshop or session, collaboration is key. A knowledgeable facilitator knows how to unite the participants around common objectives and interests. By removing distractions and forcing everyone to sit face to face in an arena-style configuration for open conversations, the facilitators should encourage group cohesion. He ought to promote consensus-building, viewpoint exchange, mutual respect, and brainstorming sessions.
6. Questioning Strategies That Work
Questioning is used to get more information and determine whether someone has understood. The main goals of questions posed by facilitators are to test participants’ comprehension, encourage critical thought, and aid in the evaluation of material.
The Socratic technique of questioning, in which one simply does not ask questions but instead discovers the answers on their own, is incredibly effective. It aids in the improvement of critical thinking abilities.
This method is frequently used by facilitators to sort through fundamental problems, pinpoint problematic areas, and improve accuracy, inventiveness, and logical reasoning.
Through both open-ended and closed-ended inquiries, facilitators should have strong probing abilities. Timing and delivery of the questions are crucial in terms of their style of asking.
In addition to the abilities listed above, a good facilitator should be open-minded, receptive, and capable of learning new skills as needed depending on the group participating.
Types of Facilitator
What kind of facilitator ( internal or external ) will help your group achieve the best progress toward goals should be decided upon early on when groups are convening.
Effective meetings are more likely when the facilitator’s style fits the demands of the gathering.
What kind of facilitator will be most beneficial?
Meeting between a variety of persons, consider using an internal or external facilitator where appropriate.
Meetings must result in progress for groups, and effective facilitation can help. A competent facilitator, also known as a process manager, creates a successful process and modifies the conversation to produce results. You might have internal or external facilitators in your group. Both types have benefits and drawbacks.
Facilitation from both inside and outside
The manner of a meeting is important to facilitators; they build and support effective approaches for bringing people together. People in charge of the meeting’s logistics should be carefully considered by groups.
The internal facilitator serves as both a leader and a participant in the group. Managers and supervisors frequently perform this function.
A facilitator who is external to the group is one who is not a participant. Think about the benefits and drawbacks of both options before selecting whether to utilize an internal or external facilitator for a meeting.
Strength and Weakness of a Facilitator
Below are certain strength and weakness of a facilitator which you should take note of. we shall discuss for both internal and external facilitator
Internal facilitation uses process managers who are already a part of the organization, project, or community. These are frequently middle- or upper-level employees in businesses who have the ability to facilitate group conversations, processes, and decision-making. They could work as staff members or elected leaders in local towns.
Internal facilitators might or might not be knowledgeable or skilled in the technical or content issues under discussion.
Strength of an Internal Facilitator
- Internal facilitators frequently possess in-depth expertise of the topic under discussion.
- They are aware of the situation’s background and setting.
- Many of the participants and stakeholders are people they know or have relationships with.
- They might be less expensive than engaging an outside facilitator.
Weakness of an Internal Facilitator
- Internal facilitators could have preconceived notions and biases regarding the problem as well as knowledge of the circumstances in the past.
- Members of the group can think that the internal facilitator is prejudiced in favor of or against particular participants, stakeholders, or choices.
- Internal facilitators could be reluctant to pose challenging or contentious questions for fear of jeopardizing their standing inside a group or community.
- They can be afraid of being punished if they confront those in positions of power.
In external facilitation, process supervisors are drawn from outside the organization, activity, or community. The main goal of an external facilitator is to direct a procedure that helps the group discuss and act on concerns.
A third-party facilitator shouldn’t be biased in favor of any certain course of action.
Strength of an External Facilitator
- External facilitators frequently foster a climate of impartial or neutral facilitation.
- They inject new ideas and queries into the conversation.
- They are prepared to challenge presumptions and pose challenging queries.
- When tackling challenging or contentious subjects, they can help the group forward.
Weakness of an External Facilitator
- When external facilitation is used, the facilitator needs time to get to know the participants, stakeholders, issue, and context.
- External facilitators may not be regarded or trusted since they are perceived as outsiders.
- Usually, they charge a fee for their services.
- They might just be there for a little fraction of a longer procedure or set of inquiries.