Facilitated meetings and workshops are increasingly popular. Sometimes my clients need help working together better to meet their objectives. This may be because a particular problem has been stopping progress. It may be because the strategy that needs to be developed is complex and hard to hold onto when it's being discussed. Or it may be simply that everyone in the room need to be encouraged to be part of the conversation. Working with a qualified, experienced facilitator can enable that to happen.
Some outcomes for organisations I've worked with previously include:
Enhanced business performance and outcomes
Increased retention and commitment
Diverse groups being brought together to confirm shared goals
Individual performance improvement – unlocking full potential
A stronger peer network
How do I/we get the most from a facilitator?
It's great that you've decided that your meeting or workshop needs an independent professional facilitator, but I don't just turn up and facilitate. There are some key things that any strong facilitator will want to know to maximise their impact. Expect questions so we can work together for the best result possible...
What is the purpose of the meeting? What do you want to be different afterwards? This could be a difference in the information that people have (content), new agreements or decisions (process), or it could be that what is needed is a shift in the way people work together (relationships) - or all of these.
Can you share what your organisation has done up to now? What other processes or history have led up to this workshop? What's happening in the wider world that is impacting upon your organisation?
Who's attending? What do they need to know to fully participate? Is there any information or questions that needs to be circulated in advance? What do the participants want out of their time together?
Can you recommend when and where to facilitate an event?
Apart from the invitation list, the other things which are usually fixed before the event are the date, the timing and the venue:
The date needs to be arranged sufficiently far ahead for the facilitator, the client's representatives and participants to have adequate preparation time. Participants also need sufficient notice for their diaries.
The venue needs to be suitable for the event - I can help you to identify an appropriate venue if necessary.
What happens after the facilitated event is over?
Arrangements for after the event should also be well planned. Specifically...
Confirming the kind of report or record required?
If there are specific desired outcomes from the meeting (agreements, action points, priorities, new systems, options or proposals), what is going to happen to them next?
How will the client, facilitator and participants give and receive feedback about how the process worked?
All these things will need to be considered during the planning phase. I work closely with clients to confirm such details.