Every manager or team leader should be able to facilitate communication between all the team members and ensure that they all contribute to the team’s common goal. Thus, being a facilitator is definitely not easy. You have to consider the fact that every person in your team is different. Even so, you have to motivate them to collaborate and encourage each other to grow, all the while having the team’s goal in mind. Because we want to help you be a successful facilitator, we’re going to provide you with a list of 3 facilitation skills that you should acquire.
Facilitation Skills Checklist
1. Encourage People to Participate
While some people are more comfortable with participating in group discussions and generally talking in front of an audience, others will naturally be more shy and unwilling to speak their mind. As a team leader, you’re going to have to encourage everyone in the team to participate. Acknowledge that ever person’s input is valuable for the team as a whole. By participation we don’t only mean participation in discussions. It can also be participation in group projects, presentations, and so on. As an extra tip, if you want someone to be more comfortable with participating, don’t single that person out. Instead, try to include him or her in a smaller team where they might share their point of view easier.
2. Help the Team Become Independent
Even though the team leader is a really important figure in the team, the rest of the people shouldn’t depend on him or her. One of the most important facilitation techniques involves teaching the team how to work without you there. This means they should be familiar with the techniques you normally use. That way, they can work without a facilitator when the circumstances require it. Similarly, they should have the freedom to choose their own path, as long as there isn’t any specific one that you know they should follow.
3. Make People Feel Welcomed
People are more likely to share their ideas freely and give their best when they’re working in a welcoming environment. As a manager, you’re the one who has to take care of that. By welcoming environment, we don’t only mean the space where you and your team meet, although that’s important as well and should be an area of interest for you. We also mean your attitude towards them. Make sure to always be engaged and engage the team as well, to assure them that they can trust you and to prove that you’re trustworthy, and to communicate openly and encourage people to do the same. That being said, in terms of physical space, the way you arrange the furniture and the type of furniture you choose can make a huge difference. The environment should encourage people to be productive and enjoy their work, not dread having to be there.
These are just a couple of the most important facilitation skills that you should be aware of, but they’re definitely quite important for the success of a team. Make sure to keep them in mind!
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