Facilitator – what is it?
A facilitator, in its simplest term, is somebody who carries out facilitation. This means they help groups of people, usually in a meeting or workshop environment, identify their collective objectives and help them work through how they will reach said objectives.
How to become a (good) facilitator
Firstly, if this is a new career choice for you, or perhaps you’ve been appointed within your company, you will need training.
Facilitation goes far beyond standing before a group of people and writing down their thoughts. You need to be able to smoothly and subtly guide the meeting in the most constructive and efficient way possible. At the start of the meeting, an aim must be established, or a list if there is more than one, and by the end of the session there should be a clear pathway mapped out, demonstrating how to achieve these aims.
Good facilitators stimulate discussion amongst their participants, especially those who are less out spoken. They are highly organised individuals that generate, but don’t force, ideas and a good facilitator is great at producing an outcome.
How to facilitate a meeting
1. Firstly, you must do your research. It’s good to know what the meeting is about beforehand, as this will help you in your planning.
2. Once you’ve conducted a thorough amount of, it’s time to set an agenda. You can leave room for a slight digression; in fact it is important to in order to keep the session feeling fluid, as well as structured. Outlining how the meeting will help everyone to stay on task.
3. Your agenda can then be transferred onto Pinpoint boards, ideally use one board for one point or idea. Draw visually stimulating graphics and think about how best to tackle this particular point.
4. At the start of the meeting introduce yourself and the reason for the meeting, and then highlight each point of the agenda.
5. Work through each agenda item until a conclusion or decision has been made.
6. Use your Pinpoint boards in whichever way you see fit, using all the different techniques you will have been taught in your training.
7. To end the meeting, sum up everything that has been agreed and make sure that each participant is clear on what they have to do. This will prevent any misunderstandings or crossed wires. It’s important to take photos of each completed Pinpoint board and send the images in a follow-up email. This is a great way for people to see how and why decisions were made.
It’s important to understand that the meeting wont necessarily solve any problems or reach any objectives itself, but hopefully the outcome will be a clear, concise strategy that everyone is clear on and happy with.
At Pinpoint Facilitation we offer meeting facilitation training or one of our highly skilled facilitators can facilitate a meeting for you, whilst you are waiting to be taught the Pinpoint technique.
We are also the UK distributor for Neuland who provide innovative equipment for trainers, consultants, facilitators and coaches all across Europe. Please feel free to get in touch for more details.