January 30, 2014 4 Comments
As you amplify and increase your facilitative leadership skills, you and your team participants will become more successful. What is our measurement of success? Let us consider six substantial areas of success including:
- Consensual Understanding and Higher Quality Decisions
- Flexibility and Breaking through Stalemates and Deadlocks
- Impactful Groups through Improved Working Relationships
- Integral Decision-Making
- Knowledge Transfer and Increased Organizational Effectiveness
- Saving Time and Increased Personal Effectiveness
Let us look at each briefly in a more detail:
- Consensual Understanding and Higher Quality Decisions: Properly facilitated, participants understand both WHAT is decided and WHY. Since groups are capable of generating more options than the aggregate of individuals, they arrive at higher quality decisions that are capable of reconciling seemingly contrary points of view.
- Flexibility and Breaking through Stalemates and Deadlocks: Structured approaches afford a higher degree of flexibility, than approaches without structure. With structure, and topical flow, meetings can take the “scenic route” because there is a back-up plan to provide a respite from the stream of consciousness approach taken by unstructured meetings. By exploring newly created options and challenging working assumptions, teams can breakthrough their stalemates and deadlocks by rediscovering common ground or by creating options during the meeting that did not walk in to the room at the start of the meeting.
- Impactful Groups through Improved Working Relationships: Conflict becomes properly managed rather than ignored. Complex issues may be addressed face-to-face as they should, rather than through a series of e-mails and innuendo. Proper facilitation will demonstrate the opportunity and method for discovering win-win solutions. As stakeholders’ ideas are sought, meeting activity will become more collaborative and innovative
- Integral Decision-Making: Defined as better alignment with organizational goals and objectives. Structured decision-making must appeal to organizational goals and objectives supported by the meeting; typically the project, program, business unit, and enterprise. Alignment with the “holarchial” perspective ensures that proposed actions are appropriate and supports prioritization based on the impact of proposed changes across the entire enterprise. Effective decision-making reflects the integral perspective.
- Knowledge Transfer and Increased Organizational Effectiveness: Learning organizations understand the need and power behind the transfer of knowledge from those who know to those who do not know, but should. Facilitated environments provide the opportunity for challenge, reflection, and documentation that underlies shared understanding and amplifies organizational effectiveness. Facilitative leadership also makes it easier to develop new leaders.
- Saving Time and Increased Personal Effectiveness: Session leaders (aka facilitators) will more done faster. As staff is treated as colleagues, commitment and motivation increases. By becoming expert on method and tools rather than content, they can continue to use tools that generate consistent and repeatable results. Meetings only fail because either the participants do not have the talent, do not have the motivation, or do not know how. The role of the facilitative leader shows them how.
Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills
The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).
Do not forget to order Change or Die if you working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and detailed tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.