Being a good facilitator isn’t the same as knowing how to manage people or run a meeting. It all comes down to understanding the tools–and structure–that help people collaborate.
BY BRANDON KLEIN [5 MINUTE READ]
What comes to mind when you hear the term “facilitator”? A task manager hogging airspace up at the front of the room? Or thoughts like, “Ugh–okay, how do I get out of attending this workshop?”
But done right, facilitation isn’t about boring presentations. It’s a process for getting groups of people together to solve any problem. Good facilitators know how to jump right in, establish an objective, create a format packed with interactive opportunities for discussion, and lead groups of all sizes toward constructive solutions. And you don’t need a specific job title or a certain amount of experience to become an effective facilitator–you just have to develop a set of skills that gives structure and purpose to the otherwise unruly art of collaboration.
As workplaces become less hierarchical and more reliant on interpersonal problem-solving, rather than just tactical execution, facilitation is becoming a job skill you’ll need to rely on more and more. Here’s what you need to know to get started developing it.