Do you know how to facilitate?
I am not talking about conducting standup training…
I am not talking about something that only trainers and OD people do….
I am talking about something that all great managers and leaders do. Facilitation is a critical management skill.
Here´s what I mean by facilitation:
Helping conversations move forward. Not controlling the conversation, enabling helpful dialogue.
Connecting disconnected people, projects, processes, and intentions. Not taking control, enabling connections.
Translating and understanding what´s NOT being said. Not putting words in people´s mouths, offering interpretations that are helpful and that improve understanding.
Taking the initiative to help people, meetings, conversations, and projects move from off track to back on track. Not pushing your agenda, enabling focus on the common goal.
Helping people really "get" their optimal role within the organization. Not changing their role, but helping them see the desired contribution of their role such that they become more accountable.
De-hassling the workplace. Not lowering expectations, but noticing and dealing with the daily barriers that keep people from doing their best work.
Sounds like interesting managerial work, doesn’t it? Facilitation is some of the most important (and rewarding) work that a manager or leader will do in any given day. Tomorrow I will offer thoughts about how to become a better facilitator.