Facilitator Journal | Issue #0421, December 8, 2009
I'm taking a course to become a social media consultant (facilitator). Yes I figured that I might just as well surrender to my fate of living in front of my computer! It seems to be the way business is going these days.
One of my assignments is to produce some short video clips that address questions people typically ask in my industry. While this can be incredibly time consuming, I've had a lot of fun over the past few days producing my first two. I also realize that this might be a good alternative way to present the weekly MFJ as well.
So in the video below, I answer the most basic question about facilitation and that is, What is Facilitation and Why is it Important. Have a look at this short 2:44 minute video or read the transcript in the article below. Be gentle now, this is my first stint as an actor, director, editor, and producer! If a video screen does not show up below, click this link to go play it online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfY40YMepXM
What is Facilitation and Why is it Important?
Be able to define facilitation and explain its utility to others
Group Process Skill
Facilitation is the act of helping groups to focus their energies in a common direction, helping them to make better decisions in cooperation with one another.
Most people think that groups are simply a collection of individuals gathering together. And that if we bring a bunch of smart and high functioning people together, they’ll do great work, right?
But have you ever left a meeting confused wondering what the heck just happened, or more accurately, didn’t happen?
This is because there’s more to groups than meets the eye.
Facilitation is important because groups are typically more complex than we think they are.
Groups are more complex than we think
Managing group thought is actually far more complicated than managing individual thought. This is because of the numbers of minds involved and the dynamics of their interactions. People arrive with their own set of beliefs and values, differing agendas, and individual interpretations. And the more people we bring together, the more complex the dynamics become.
Therefore, as much as we’d like to think otherwise, meetings simply won’t bring the results you want just by bringing a bunch of smart people together. The belief in this fallacy by many meeting-goers contributes to harsh judgments upon themselves and other participants. This leads to apathy, inaction, and the continual self-fulfilling prophecy of meetings that just don't work.
So what can be do about this?
Start by being patient with yourselves and others in groups.
Understand that because they are more complex than you thought, there are some basic skills that can make your work in groups easier.
Learn some of these skills yourself or enlist the help of a facilitator who can help tame some of the complexity inherent in your group. Effective facilitation can help your group tap into the synergy available to get the results you thought you were capable of.
interested in hearing your perspectives on this and how
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