You need to engage the skills of a good facilitator when you are stuck in a rut as a team, there is a lack of positive engagement, or you sense things are not flowing as smoothly as they could be. You know something doesn’t feel right, but you can’t quite put your finger on what it is.
It’s possible you have a need for a good facilitator, but you don’t know what a facilitator does. Well, until now. The simplest and most accurate definition of facilitation is…
the ability to make something possible or easier for someone or a team.
Brilliant. The things that you are stuck with or finding hard to navigate will be made possible or easier to achieve with good facilitation. Sounds like a dream. But facilitation often gets confused with meeting chairing, which is a great skill to have, but meeting chairing is more focused on following a process and good governance. Manufacturers’ Alliance facilitators will have the skills of being a good meeting chair, but the role of a great facilitator is much broader.
What does a Manufacturers’ Alliance facilitator do?
A Manufacturers’ Alliance Facilitator will…
- Engage individuals and teams towards reaching a positive outcome. A great facilitator will possess a deep understanding of psychology and teamwork and will have the character and tools to build high levels of engagement. Due to their open mindedness and non-judgemental approach, they remain neutral. Often the back story of a team’s dynamic plays a big part in the lack of engagement. Working with one of our facilitators will help to remove those biases that have built up over time.
- Develop individuals and teams to the stage of autonomy where they can eventually lead themselves. A great facilitator will listen much more than they speak and will be working towards you taking the reins and leading yourself as quickly as possible. They know what a highly dependent relationship looks like and will avoid this from happening with individuals and teams. We typically achieve this by providing you with all the tools you need and by leaving you with the responsibility to make things happen.
- Support people and teams to develop ambitious goals and maintain momentum individually and collectively to achieve them. A great facilitator will have the knowledge and skills to develop a high performing person and/or team. Knowing what levers to pull and when enables them to move people and teams from stuck or moving slowly, to highly engaged and moving at pace in a short space of time. We focus on supporting teams in building consensus, without telling people what to do.
- Promote and maintain a healthy dynamic for teams to remain effective and agile. A great facilitator will have a wide range of tools to maintain engagement and progress. They will use good visuals and resources to share agreed objectives and actions. They engage you and your team in doing the work, which frees them up to see the bigger picture of the dynamics of the team. It’s like they have eyes at the sides and the back of their head, and ears in every conversation. A healthy dynamic is key to progress, so us picking up on the subtleties of things that will affect the team dynamics is essential in our role as a facilitator.
- Be on your agenda and not their own agenda. A great facilitator has no or very little ego and has no interest in pushing their own agenda or making achievements about them and their own needs. You can feel it when you are on the receiving end of someone who is entirely on your agenda. It feels authentic and comes from a place of genuine care. This helps us to help you understand your blind spots. When we share feedback from a place of genuine care, you appreciate and take on board the feedback from a critical friend.
- Be prepared. A great facilitator will be organised and very well prepared. Most of the preparation they do will be completely unseen by the people on the receiving end. The smoothness and flow of interactions and meetings is a result of the amount of effort and consideration that goes into prep. They have considered the risks and different scenarios that may play out. Things will go wrong. They always do! But we will always have a plan and think on our feet.
What does a Fantastic Facilitator look like?
At the Manufacturers’ Alliance our core capability as a support team is facilitation. Internally we refer to this as Fantastic Facilitation and feel there are certain profiles of people whose strengths fit well with facilitating. Hence, we recruit based on values, attitude and behaviours, and look for strengths in people’s character and personality.
To be part of the Manufacturers’ Alliance team we look for people that…
- Love working with diverse groups of people.
- Have very little ego and are continually working on reducing the amount of ego they have.
- Are authentic and open.
- Communicate clearly and effectively with different types of people.
- Are comfortable asking for feedback and help.
- Thrive when helping others and supporting them in achieving their own version of success.
- Are comfortable with silence and listening to people.
- Maintain an open mind and curiosity about the world.
- Have a 6th sense for asking amazing questions.
- Are comfortable challenging people and situations when the time calls for it.
- Love to learn and continually challenge their own perceptions and biases.
- Can be flexible and think on their feet.
- Are great at organising themselves and others.
- Most importantly, know how to engage and motivate people towards the desired outcome.
Facilitators are not consultants, or mentors, or advisors or trainers. We believe being a facilitator is more about why someone does what they do and how they do it, as opposed to just what they do. Facilitation has a lot to do with developing emotional maturity and growing your knowledge of yourself and what makes people tick, and is less about a set of tools and techniques to use. Yes, the facilitation tools and techniques help, but the best facilitators are hugely self-aware and have a deep understanding of people, teams and culture.
Conclusion… What does a Manufacturers’ Alliance facilitator do?
We parachute into teams, meet you where you are, and help you to understand not only the reality of where your true starting point is, but inspire you to push beyond your current limits and achieve your true potential as a team. To outsiders it can feel like wizardry and magic dust, but to our facilitators it’s a calling that just pulls you towards it. To help others become unstuck and go beyond the realms of possibility is a passion like no other.
So, give us a call if you feel this sounds like you. We are always looking for fantastic facilitators to join our team.
And if you need a fantastic facilitator to perform some magic with your team, do reach out for a conversation with us. It’s what we love to do and why we are here.