Facilitative Leaders

facilitation-chart-male-groupAs a leader in today’s collaborative, specialized, multi-disciplinary world, you recognize that to achieve results, people must understand, buy into and accept new directions and solutions.

You know that when people have a say in answering the questions that matter to them, they will bring their discretionary energy, time and commitment to ensure solutions are successfully implemented.

The old style leader imposed answers from the top. Your approach as a facilitative leader is to engage the right people at the right time, by asking good questions and facilitating focused, interactive and productive group process to gain their input and ownership.

Facilitative leaders know how to:

  • Lead groups through creative problem solving and issue resolution process
  • Foster employee engagement through participative conversations and processes
  • Engage employees and stakeholders for collaboration and synergistic conflict resolution..
  • Create the space for discovery, contribution, dialogue and creativity.
  • Guide focused meeting process, and use effective facilitation tools and techniques, to draw out the best in people.
  • Bring together diverse perspectives for collaborative solutions and powerful, supported outcomes.

A featured article of Systems Thinker, The Art of Facilitative Leadership lists the capacities of facilitative leaders.  These competencies coincide with effective group facilitation skills.

  • Active listening skills including paraphrasing, summarizing, reflecting, and questioning
  • Generate participative discussion in groups
  • Stimulate creative thinking through brainstorming and other idea-generation processes
  • Contrast perspectives and options that might result in group conflict with individuals without taking control of the situation
  • Seek out others’ opinions in an objective and non-judgmental manner
  • Shape more powerful and strategic questions for exploration
  • and much more….

Building facilitation competencies will go a long way to enhancing the ability of leaders to lead, i.e., help people achieve extraordinary things.  Alas, our students will often tell us that their supervisors and senior managers are the #1 reason that organizational meetings are not productive; here are a couple of quotes to illustrate:

“All people in senior leadership roles at all levels of our organization should take this foundation course in facilitation.” [In-House Participant, Feb. 2014]

“This course is recommended and would be very useful to senior management and other supervisors in our company.”  [In-House Participant, Nov. 2013]

Bring this course in-house as part of your leadership / talent development program: The Confident Facilitator is a two-day course designed to build the facilitative leadership skills of any team or task force leader, Lean or Six Sigma professional, business analyst, professional, project manager, or consultant who leads a lot of meetings, group and committee sessions and wants to make those meetings better.

Author: myriamlaberge

M.A. (Economics), Certified Professional Facilitator Founder & Managing Director