Putting It all Together Facilitating Learning and Project Groups.
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Putting It all Together Facilitating Learning and Project Groups
Facilitation Facilitation is a Powerful Tool! But it has limits –It is not training –It is not supervision –It is not organization development –It is not project management But it can be part of all of those things
Facilitation Facilitation involves empowering groups of people to act using a number of tools First and foremost is the power of relationships. Facilitators are sincere in their belief that the collective effort of a group will exceed the sum of the individual effort of its contributors.
Facilitation in Training Identification of key factors needed for a Training Needs Analysis Facilitation of learning groups that allow participants to teach each other and incorporate experience with new ideas. Evaluation of training programs
Facilitation in Supervision Facilitation of meetings designed to improve teamwork and cooperation – both intra-team and inter-team. Conflict resolution Building consensus around a new idea or a problem resolution strategy Employee evaluation
Facilitation in Organization Development Mission, Vision, and Values Focus groups – for assessment Organization improvement efforts designed for inter-team cooperation Aligning personal goals, department goals, and organization goals
Facilitation in Project Management Facilitating project groups to align mission, vision and strategy Mediation of disputes Focus groups for development of project strategy Improve productivity of meetings
Who Do I Work For External Facilitator Internal Facilitator Be clear about who your client is –Primary client –Contact client
Taking the Call Does you client understand what facilitation is? Is facilitation an appropriate tool to accomplish your client’s goals? Are you and your client clear about the boundaries?
Get Ready Perspective – research your client Purpose – What do we hope to accomplish? People – Who needs to be there? Who wants to be there? What do I need to know about them?
Get Ready Product – What is the desired outcome. A decision? A work plan? Improved teamwork? Place – Find and prepare a place that enhances your purpose and processes. Process – How will I help the group achieve its purpose? How will I document the results?
Get Ready Practice – enough said Personal Preparation – improve your skills, be mentally prepared, preparation is a life-long journey!
Adopt Systems Thinking A basic systems model OPEN SYSTEM INPUT PROCESS OUTPUT Systems External Environment
Facilitators are neutral with regard to outputs or outcomes Facilitators are process experts OPEN SYSTEM INPUT PROCESS OUTPUT Systems External Environment
Processes Ask questions Use exploratory questions that promote discussion Avoid judgments, closed ended questions Craft your questions to reveal strengths, feelings, interest, or insight Challenge assumptions Role model openness and critical thinking
Processes Seek consensus on the purpose and ground rules Review the ground rules periodically Seek balanced participation –Ask direct questions –Impose time limits –Invite structured individual contributions
Processes Start small -- think big –Agreement on small things builds an atmosphere of cooperation and trust in the process –Stay focused on the process. Be a careful observer of process and bring the conversation back to process when things heat up
Processes Use listening skills. –Attending –Reflection –Empathy
Processes Pay attention to roles –Formal –Informal Challenge assumptions about roles
Processes Keep the group on-task –Maintain your focus –Honor time commitments –Keep to the agenda –Use process interventions to point out problems
Large Systems Consider co-facilitators Carefully design processes Allow enough time! Link purpose to mission and values Demonstrate collaborative action Link collaborative action to desired outcomes
Large Systems Identify and build on organizational strengths Recognize the power of culture Recognize the power of the “water cooler effect” Appeal to multiple styles and multiple cultures
Consensus Level 1 Lack of shared information Level 2 Different values or experiences Level 3 Outside factors
Consensus Separate people from the method Identify, explore, and analyze objective data Find areas of agreement to build upon Identify all possible alternatives Explore possible outcomes of each alternative Acknowledge moral and ethical concerns
Other Factors Facilitation as a microcosm of an organization Facilitated groups as a laboratory Multiple facilitations within a system Multiple hats
Documentation Concurrent –Participant –Graphic –Facilitator After the fact –Participant –Facilitator
Evaluation Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels Perceived match between participants desire and experience Reactions Reactions Match between process and participants Learning Learning Motivational forces in the job setting Opportunity to applying experience in the real world Environment Behavior External environment of the organization: Economy, regulations, suppliers, etc Internal environment of the organization: Policies, procedures, systems Organization Results Results
Self-Improvement Observe and analyze process Practice listening and communications skills Analyze systems and seek to understand the positive and negative feedback loops Try out your facilitation skills every chance you get!