It's about you!
That's my philosophy while working with a group! A great facilitator has great listening skills and uses them to learn more about the goal(s) of the meeting and it's participants. A variety of techniques are then used to get people talking, exchanging, discussing and finally, agreeing (even if it is to agree to disagree)!
It also has to be fun. How many times have you been to yet another brainstorming or planning session, and felt like jumping out the window!? Humor and a variety of tools can be used to get people to relax and actually 'enjoy' the process!
It has to be interactive - that's another way to make it fun! If participants are involved in the process, and not just 'listening' they will be much more engaged to the end results, making the exercise much more sustainable and worthwhile.
Finally, participants have to feel engaged and respected. Their expectations should be checked at the beginning of each exercise and checked at the end. The facilitator should validate discussions regularly by asking participants their opinions on the direction the meeting is taking, and adjusting if necessary. The energy level of the group also has to be monitored; if a break is required - call for one, even if it's not planned!
Here's what a client had to say:
'Sylvie is an exceptional facilitator. As the facilitator of CDETNO's bilingual recruitment and retention forum held in September 2013, Sylvie lead a relevant discussion through stimulating exchanges. With the help of dynamic exercises, the participants (employers, stakeholders and others) were able to draw up key strategies to attract and recruit newcomers to the NWT. Sylvie's creativity allowed for a variety of activities, which made our Forum a success'. Anne-Christine Boudreau, Executive Director, CDETNO.
If you are looking for a facilitator for your next meeting, contact us !
For a list of workshops that Ayni can offer your team click Workshops by Ayni