Facilitating courageous conversations
in Facilitated processes
What is Facilitation
Facilitation helps when teams or groups need to talk.
‘No Man is an Island’. Teamwork is what leverages the potential of an organization to achieve results. But teamwork is not easy, and it is not without conflict. Forming, storming, norming and performing doesn’t always happen naturally. Sometimes teams need assistance in managing the storms and settling their norms. A skilled facilitator will ‘hold the space’ for team members to discuss their differences and then assist the team to work towards an action plan to move things forward. Facilitation is different from mediation because it is about conflict rather than about a specific dispute.
Facilitated processes can take place as an event or over a number of sessions. It’s often a case of it ‘being about the journey and not the destination’. Conducting the process at a neutral venue can make a difference, giving participants the sense that power relations will be more easily balanced.
Satisfying clients time after time.
Focused on conflict rather than on a specific dispute
Careful process-design to ensure inclusivity
Identifying common and conflicting interests
Assessing existing conflict styles
Encouraging courageous conversations
Facilitating agreement on effective behaviours and ways of working
Very helpful process and hopefully it will assist in producing a more effective working relationship
Whilst these situations are never enjoyable, I certainly feel it was a productive meeting and allowed us to reach closure of the situation and move forwards.
Global Financial Consultancy
Your intervention at crucial moments in the meeting helped us keep on track and maintain a clear focus on reaching an outcome that we are all happy with.
MY Facilitation Process
In my experience, most people are conflict-averse, which unfortunately means that conflict in teams is often left to fester. A carefully designed process to facilitate open communication and constructive problem-solving can assist parties to move forward.
By the time a team is crying out for help, it is difficult for internal professionals to provide credible assistance. This is where I come in as an independent third party facilitator. In this capacity I aim to work, not as a consultant to management, but in an even-handed manner with all parties, providing impartial support to all participants.
Planning the Process
Conducting the Process
Small and large group conflicts are aired and brought to an effective resolution.
I have worked with teams as small as four or five people, as well as with groups of up to eighty people. Whether small or large, the aim is the same: to enhance performance through a relationship-building process.
I have conducted relationship-building processes with groups as diverse as firefighters in Harrisonburg Virginia USA, and managers and shop stewards at Mercedes Benz in East London South Africa.
Most recently I facilitated a relationship-building process with a team of health care professionals at a hospital in Oxfordshire. Relationships had broken down for various reasons, resulting in some team members no longer speaking to one another and others taking extended sick leave for work-related stress.
I designed a process in which I met with the employees individually to start with and then for two sessions as a group. In preparation for the joint meeting, each employee completed the Thomas Kilman Conflict Styles Inventory, which provided useful insight for each person and a fresh perspective on how the team was, or wasn’t, functioning.