Intervention From A Facilitator
Intervention from a facilitator. Some will be culturally-based, some may have political implications, and some will be based on a sense of priorities. Some may have to do with the personalities or self-images of the people involved. With a good guess at what’s impeding the progress, you can think about how to overcome the roadblocks and become reenergized in the process. The facilitator’s job is to support everyone to do their best thinking and practice. To do this, the facilitator encourages full participation, promotes mutual understanding and cultivates shared responsibility.
Usually, asking the people who are stuck to take a step back and to look at their own process is the best way to handle this. Sometimes diagnosis takes a little help from someone else, a counselor or facilitator, who can make some quick interventions to help the process.
Some groups have little need for this kind of help. For example, those whose meetings are largely information sharing, announcements, and reports. Or groups who meet regularly for routine decisions about standard problems like scheduling. Those kinds of issues can be handled without much need for meeting facilitation.
What about more difficult challenges groups face? For example, a product-launching group consisting of design, marketing, manufacturing and customer service. Despite a common goal of increased sales, their frames of reference are very different. What seems reasonable to one may place too many demands on another. And interpersonal communication styles are likely to be quite different as well. What’s the likelihood that the group will survive the push-pull of their group work?
Groups face other issues as well including clarifying roles for projects that have not been done before, resolving high-stakes conflicts, etc. In situations like these, groups will make better decisions if they embrace a facilitative mind and skill set to support them to do their best thinking. This is often accomplished by preparing a facilitator guide to help the meeting leader when facilitating a meeting and by applying fundamental group facilitation skills.
This is why organizations may need intervention from a facilitator.