“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” – Lao Tzu
The art of the skilled facilitator is not to dominate at the conversation but to enroll the participants in a process where they themselves create high quality decisions.
In theory teams can create strategies and make decisions that are superior to individuals. Anyone that has been in a team knows that in practice “synergy” can be hard to accomplish.
Long talk fests that go no where and groups slipping into “for” and “against” factions can turn team synergy into a headache. In fact since Irving Janis’ work in the 70’s on the phenomenon of Groupthink it has been clear that group decision making can lead to a deterioration of mental efficiency. Group decisions are just as likely to be disastrous as synergistic.
The difference is all in how the group conversation is structured. That is why having an external facilitator can make all the difference.
As an experienced facilitator we will focus on the process of the conversation leaving the content up to the group. Whether it’s team building, setting vision, mission and strategy, aligning values or managing an internal conflict – the use of process tools and facilitation exercises will draw the best from each of your team. Creating an environment where all participants are comfortable and can contribute equally is the key.
An effective facilitator knows how to mange constructive conflict. Effective teams can enter into healthy disagreements to work to the best solution. No conflict can be a sign of dysfunction and opinions not voiced. This can leave some team members resentful and un-engaged in the result. The wrong kind of conflict can render a discussion pointless and in extreme cases can tear a team apart.
The presence of a skilled “external voice” to manage contributions and work towards agreement is key. We will ensure that group is making high quality decisions and that everyone is enrolled in the commitments.
Contact us now to talk about how we can facilitate a great outcome with your team.