Types of facilitator

How do you decide between the different types of facilitation and why you might need a facilitator.

Many people who contact us have not used a facilitator before and, often, are acting on behalf of others ? maybe the rest of your team or your boss.

Find out about our comprehensive guide: "How to Choose a Facilitator".

The first step is to decide what type of facilitation you require.

Basic facilitation helps a group solve a problem or undertake a task by providing structure and process for the event. This might be ideal for a conference or company presentation.

In developmental facilitation, the facilitator both helps the group to solve a problem, achieve an outcome, and helps them to improve their process and develop their skills. The objective is to raise performance to a higher level.

Developmental facilitation requires significantly more time and facilitator skill, and it is more likely to create fundamental change.

Facilitators design, organise and facilitate conferences, away days, strategy and budget planning meetings to achieve your agreed outcome.

They enable you to delegate organisation, programme design and management of the event so that everybody can participate equally. At a conference, facilitators can play the role of chairman or, even, of host on behalf of the organisation.

Strategy planning and budget preparation activities are likely to be less formal and justify getting away from day to day interruptions to focus on a specific task.

Development and training workshops require a facilitator who can include elements of coaching, training and team building; they might form part of a comprehensive management development programme or HR consultancy project.

The value of away days and residential corporate retreats is that they remove the team from outside distractions for a sufficient length of time to contemplate strategic and governance issues, including the team's own development.

Team away days and training days are a popular and powerful means of addressing current issues, developing strategy and improving the performance of individuals and teams. A different environment; no interruptions; a skilled facilitator.

Corporate retreats help to solidify a management team or board of directors and enhance its effectiveness by giving members time to get to know each other and to do long range or strategic planning for the organisation.

Team building for high performance requires a comprehensive approach. Depending on where the team is, this could include learning how teams are formed, psychometric profiling of team members, communication skills, analysis of team processes, and group work on vision, mission and values.

Whether your objective is to get to know each other better, to build a team that works together better, to be more innovative, or to get down to work on a budget or business plan, you will achieve much, much more if you get away for a day or more, change the environment and allow time for the process. If you have the opportunity, an overnight residential element greatly increases the benefit.

Using a facilitator enables everyone to participate fully and provides a safe environment in which to confront sensitive issues. It is important that whoever you choose is able to draw upon the skills and processes required for your event, appreciate the culture of the organisation and relate to the individuals involved.

You might also wish to consider whether this is likely to be a one-off event or whether you are looking for a longer term relationship.

If you have not already done so you will find a link at the end of this video to download your copy of the guide ?How to Choose a Facilitator?. At the end of the report you will find a questionnaire that will help you clarify your needs and form the basis for creating an initial brief. You can also subscribe to this video course.

Read another chapter: What does a facilitator do? – or download the complete report.

FREE GUIDE: "How to choose a facilitator"

This 35-page comprehensive guide to choosing a facilitator explains what a facilitator does and why you might need one, including some examples of facilitator-led events.

It includes advice on how to find and select a venue ? and how to save money in the process.

A series of fundamental questions will help you choose a facilitator and example programmes and strategy tools will help you prepare a brief.

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How do I Choose a Facilitator?


Brefi Group helps clients bring structure and clarity to their thinking. We help identify core issues and make the complex simple, holding the space for you to create your own solutions.

Send for our FREE guide "How to Choose a Facilitator".