As a Team Facilitator

I get involved with teams as a facilitator when they want to make high quality decisions or improve the team’s effectiveness.

Team Facilitator


There are typically three scenarios that motivate a client to pick up the phone and call me:

Team Conflict

When conflict or tension in a team is becoming a barrier to effective communication. The team are no longer communicating effectively, are no longer sharing relevant information nor are they transparent with each other about their interests and concerns. The impact on team effectiveness is tangible; they make poor quality decisions in a less than timely manner, stress levels in the team are high and turnover is also higher than normal.

Leadership Team Effectiveness

When a leadership team want to maximise the effectiveness and have limited time together, they want to ensure that group members stay focused on topic, actively participate and contribute to the discussion and in decision making and that members raise and discuss difficult or undiscussable issues in a productive way.

Employee Engagement

When a team is experiencing lower than normal levels of engagement in addition to experiencing higher than normal levels of staff turnover (often revealed in organisation-wide engagement surveys). These typically indicate problems existing within the culture of the team and result in higher recruitment costs and business decisions that in increase levels of commercial risk.

My Facilitation Approach

When I work with a group, be it at a leadership strategy team meeting or with a work team that are experiencing difficulties working together cohesively, I approach my work in much the same way. My approach is largely informed by the Mutual Learning Model and The Skilled Facilitator Approach.

Contracting

It’s likely that you will have contacted me through a referring party and therefore it is important for me to understand in more detail what you’d like to achieve and also understand the problems the team are currently experiencing or anticipate experiencing.

I tend to have these conversations by phone initially and it’s an opportunity for you to find out more about how I work. From that initial conversation we’ll both conclude whether or not there is a fit between the work I do and the outcomes you are seeking.

My next step will be to arrange a meeting with the members of the group or at the very least a representative sample of the group. I call this a ‘contracting meeting’. I feel it’s important for the group (as well as you) to understand my approach and are keen and willing to work with me. It is an opportunity for the group to ask questions about the way I work and for me to get to know the group and improve my understanding of the difficulties the group may be facing and want help with.

Process Facilitation

Sometimes a group wants help with a specific issue, such as making an important budgetary decision and the decision requires the input and contribution of all members in addition to making a decision that can be supported by the group. The group may have a specific deadline and half-a-day or day to come together and think through the key issues. In these circumstances the group are often less interested to learn about how to improve the way they communicate and make decisions and are focused on the decision itself.

Team Developmental Facilitation

Sometimes a group finds it gets stuck whenever it meets and irrespective of the substantive nature of their discussions always encounters similar problems. In these situations I help the group learn about and improve the way they communicate with each other, such that they operate more effectively as a work group and rely less and less on the intervention of an external facilitator. I help the group learn about the factors that may be contributing to their problems and help them design a way of working that satisfies the group members interests as well as the goals and tasks of the team.

Executive Board Facilitation

Executive Board Meetings are times when important decisions need to be made. Often the direction of a business is influenced by the discussions that take place and the decisions made during these meetings. Yet it is also a place where tensions can run high, where opinions and views can be disregarded and where undiscussable issues are prevalent.

Using an independent facilitator to facilitate a board meeting will radically increase the quality of the conversations that take place, they will also help to maximise the contribution of all members and help address any issues that the group are unwittingly avoiding – which are ultimately hold that team back from making the best decisions for their business.

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