The Power of an Effective Facilitator

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For many of us, when we enter our place of work the first thing we do is turn on our computer. Immediately the reminders pop up letting us know that our day is filled with one-on-one meetings, team meetings and often virtual meetings that span the globe.  Our day will be filled with tracking and managing a sea of information that flows through these scheduled conversations. With so many meetings consuming our day, overall productivity is dependent upon the effectiveness of these meetings. It is not enough to have share information when we are in meetings but rather meetings have to move the group to specific results. To get the most out of our meetings and one another, consider stepping up your game with effective facilitation techniques.

A good meeting facilitator employs a strategy before, during and after every event. The essential ingredients of an effective facilitation strategy are to be clear on the desired outcome, be prepared to establish and clearly communicate group norms (behaviors the group agrees to use during the facilitated conversation), show confidence in leveraging multiple styles and contributions and follow an efficient and effective meeting structure.

There are some key skills that set the masterful facilitator apart from the rest. A facilitator who produces positive results every time at bat is usually willing and able to tolerate, work through and often encourage constructive dialogue and debate. Another essential trait for the effective facilitator is to remain mentally and physically neutral and open and confident in the material being shared. One final note for the masterful facilitator, throughout any facilitated conversation, is to keep a steady focus on driving the participants toward desired outcome that you have established prior to and during the meeting. Facilitation skills can be used in any conversation and it pays to keep these skills fine-tuned. An effective facilitator makes sure that every voice is heard, that outcomes are achieved and that time spent in meetings are productive and contributes to the overall business needs.

About the Author:

Emily Williams is a millennial on a mission. She works for one of the area’s most trusted training and development firms, Pinnacle Group. In her role, she equips organizations for leveraging the unique talents and perspectives of the emerging professional.  She facilitates High Impact Communication programs for entry level professionals and focuses on marketing and social media management for the company.

Emily and HRDQ-U are hosting a free webinar on October 14th at 2pm. Sign up for it now!

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