This is where it’s all about you and making sure the right people are having the right conversations about the right things so the right actions will be taken.
I can honestly say this was the most effective and productive retreat we have had in my 11 years as ED. It seemed like you had known us for years. Your ability to get all the board members on the same page and to reach a consensus at the end of the day was remarkable. ~ Stephen Hyer, Executive Director, Washington Business Week
Facilitation is all about making an activity smoother and more productive. You might want us to facilitate when you want to ensure a successful meeting, conference or problem-solving session. You need a facilitator when everyone needs to participate in the conversation, or guidance may be needed to stay on track, and or strong disagreement or emotions may be involved.
Facilitation is all about asking the powerful questions that get the powerful responses. It is not teaching or training and it requires a different skill set. A facilitator is there to help a group increase its effectiveness by improving its processes including decision making and problem solving. Facilitation can be short term to deal with on a single issue or long term to work on how the group wants to continue to improve its processes over time. We can be part of everything from designing the agenda and keeping it on track to capturing the commitments and holding people accountable for following through.
It can be next to impossible to really work through a situation, find common ground, explore creative possibilities, find innovative solutions on-site or in a series of meetings. There are too many distractions that can interrupt the flow. People are called out to deal with “emergencies,” phones start to ring, participants don’t come back on time from breaks and lunch, etc. There’s no time to relax, settle, listen …
Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb. ~ Pythagoras
So, when you need to meet for a longer block of time, distraction free, to thoroughly work an idea or issue through to clear next steps you probably need to “retreat” to a setting off-site and carve out the necessary time.
Even when taking the time seems like a huge challenge of it’s own, it will almost certainly pay off in the long run.