How facilitators add value

Lots of teams decide to self-facilitate team planning days. And look, it won’t be a complete disaster if you do that, but there are some very clear benefits to having a facilitator in the room with you.

How facilitators add value

1. You get to focus on content

  • You need to be able to dive into the content – not be distracted by the process of the workshop.
  • It might look easy to keep things flowing when you’re in a well-facilitated workshop, but it takes skill and effort that – for you – are better directed elsewhere.

2. The person with the pen wields the power

  • The facilitator at the front of the room as a social license to operate which gives them a certain level of ‘power’ over the conversation and direction.
  • If the person with the pen is ALSO th person who as power in the workplace due to their senior role, then it’s very hard for people to speak up, challenge, and offer insights.
  • Make space for people to use their voice, and it’s not realistic to expect junior staff to challenge the status quo directly to the leadership team. (in fact, that’s setting people up to fail).

3. Neutral questions draw out the elephant in the room

  • A facilitator is neutral, doesn’t have an agenda, and is external to any existing team politics.
  • The elephant in the room can often only come out through independent questioning. Without that, you might never truly hear what matters to your people.

If you need some help

With years of experience running successful planning days, I can help you make sure everyone in the room is engaged, and you might even leave saying it’s the best planning day you’ve ever had.

Thanks again for your expertise over the last two days. It was great to have you leading it and your experience and insights made it one of the best planning days I have had.

Branch Head , Department of Finance

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