Companies use facilitators in a variety of contexts, including training meetings. A facilitator who guides training meetings seldom functions as a trainer. Rather, in the role of a traditional facilitator, he or she uses the knowledge of a meeting’s participants to identify the need for training. In doing so, a training facilitator performs the following duties:

Establishes a Clear Goal

The purpose of many training meetings is to identify the source of a problem. Although the effects of a problem may be known, its source might be a mystery. In such cases, the goal is to uncover the problem’s source, and then identify the training that is needed to correct the problem.

Maintains Group Philosophy

Identifying a problem that deals with how a company performs can be tedious. Because some participants might be more responsible for the problem than others, defensive or accusatory reactions can result. If they do, the facilitator restores order by reiterating the importance of teamwork and group responsibility. Because the facilitator is impartial, this approach is usually effective.

Monitors Time

The facilitator monitors time for two reasons: to ensure that the meeting progresses as expected, and to ensure that dwelling on a particular subject doesn’t fatigue participants. Both types of monitoring are necessary for a meeting to reach its intended conclusion.

Monitors Attendee Participation

Most meetings contain participants who speak more than others. In some instances, extroverted participants dominate the conversation, while introverted participants let them do it.  Facilitators encourage loquacious participants to shorten their responses and more reserved participants to respond.

Identifies Existing Knowledge

Throughout the facilitation process, the meeting facilitator helps attendees establish what they know about the issue at hand – a process that in turn helps them identify what they don’t know, which contributes to identifying the source of the problem.   

Identifies Gaps in Knowledge

By establishing what they know, attendees can see gaps of knowledge that compromise work quality. In some cases, these gaps are objective, such as insufficient data for a certain process or procedure; while in others, they are subjective, such as not knowing how to dialogue with certain clients about certain project issues. In either case, knowledge gaps are crucial for identifying opportunities for training.

Identify Opportunities for Training

Once knowledge gaps are identified, opportunities to resolve them can be identified as well. In some cases, the facilitator is prepared to identify specific training opportunities; while in others, the company pursues training based on the information revealed in the training meeting.

Does Your Company need a Facilitator?

Facilitators help companies by providing impartial guidance that facilitates group thought. If your company’s meetings are characterized by a lack of resolution, it may be due to a lack of group thinking. A good facilitator corrects this problem by ensuring that meetings are conducted under a team philosophy.

At FindaFacilitator, we provide facilitators for strategic planning, team building, issue resolution, process improvement, partnering sessions, focus groups, and conference facilitation and planning. Whether you have a facilitator in mind or you need help choosing one, call us today.