Break down the word facilitation and you find two components: facile which means easy and ation or actions. So simply put, facilitation is defined as actions that make things easier. So what is facilitation trying to make easier? Possibilities include:
- Individuals working together more effectively
- Diverse perspectives being more thoroughly explored
- Individuals feeling comfortable contributing and speaking up
- Groups efficiently accomplishing more and in less time
- Creative thinking and innovative solutions emerging
- Individuals exercising greater ownership over discussions and accountability for decisions reached
As Roger Schwarz says in his book, The Skilled Facilitator,"Being a facilitative leaders means changing how you think in order to change the consequences you help create." So think about the groups and teams that you are a part of:
- What consequences do you want to help create?
- What is required for that to occur in each group?
- What shifts in your thinking might help you contribute to the group doing so?
All of this content is drawn from the most popular workshop I do each year (both full-day and half-day versions): Effective Facilitation: Enhancing Results and Maximizing Individuals' Contributions. I'm currently accepting a limited number of requests to customize this content and present the program for individual organizations.
For all Facilitation Friday posts, search for facilitationfriday label on the blog.