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Group Facilitation: Tips for Choosing the Right Facilitator

June 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 231

Group facilitation can make group meetings more productive. Frequently used to ensure the success of high-priority meetings, it can also be used to establish a new process for conducting meetings effectively. When a company needs a facilitator, it has several things to consider before it makes a selection. Below are three important criteria that companies should consider as they decide which facilitator to hire.

Cost Cost is the first particular most companies consider when they look for a facilitator, but in some cases, it should not be. When a facilitator is needed to preside over a low-priority meeting (e.g. a company party or a monthly staff meeting), hiring a facilitator on a budget makes sense. The results of a meeting can influence a company's finances; however, it should choose the best facilitator for the job, with the person's fee receiving secondary consideration to his or her experience, expertise, and recognition.

Recognition A facilitator can earn three types of recognition: recognition in the facilitation industry, recognition in the industry of their present or former profession, and public recognition. Professional and public recognition do not ensure that a candidate is an effective facilitator, but recognition from the facilitation industry is typically bestowed on an effective facilitator. When a company is in doubt about whether the recognition of a candidate makes him or her a good choice, they should consider the candidate's group facilitation expertise.

Expertise The training and expertise of facilitators classifies them into four quadrants that are known as facilitator archetypes:

  • Entrant - A candidate in the entrant quadrant possesses low expertise and a limited skill set. Entrants are a good choice for meetings that entail few risks and have an expected outcome, such as monthly staff meetings.

  • Generalist - A candidate in the generalist quadrant possesses low expertise and a basic skill set. Generalists excel at conducting meetings that require accuracy and a set process, such as town hall meetings.

  • Specialist - A candidate in the specialist quadrant possesses high expertise and a basic skill set. Specialists excel at conducting meetings that involve a high level of specialized knowledge, such as planning meetings that involve tech products.

  • Sector Expert - A candidate in the sector expert quadrant possesses high expertise and an advanced skill set. Sector experts excel at conducting meetings that involve a high degree of inter-disciplinary knowledge, such as meetings to discuss business mergers.

Most companies choose a facilitator from these quadrants based on the type of meeting that is held. A candidate from the entrant quadrant may be chosen for a low-priority meeting, a candidate from the generalist quadrant may be chosen for an officious meeting, and so forth.

Conclusion Every company experiences unproductive meetings, but when unproductive meetings are the norm, a company wastes lots of time, and therefore lots of money, discussing issues without reaching a solution. Group facilitation helps companies avoid this problem, especially when they choose the right facilitators. Evaluating candidates based on their cost, recognition, and expertise is essential to making the right choice.

Group facilitation can help colleagues reach a consensus on important business issues, especially when experienced facilitators conduct it.

Source: EzineArticles
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