My role as a facilitator is to help a group work better together and involves many stages. First, clearly understanding the client's needs; Clarifying the purpose of the meeting and defining desired outcomes within a larger context; What is the unique purpose and need for this gathering.
My role begins before a larger meeting is set by conducting background research, collecting information in a variety of ways (digital work books, phone conversations, in person meetings); engaging with different members within an organization or stakeholders to get a sense of their perspective, challenges and ideas. Mapping out issues before the event helps me to ask the right questions and create an agenda that is fitting for each gathering. This is reviewed and refined with the client to ensure everyone is satisfied.
I set ground rules and expectations for the meeting as well as create a process that engages participants to their fullest. My job is to actively listen and ask the right questions. One of my main priorities is to shape group dynamics and have collective conversations that are constructive; Building a sense of belonging within a group by breaking down invisible walls so people can be authentic and create a culture/space where vulnerabilities are shared and problem are addressed together. There are many tools and processes to ensure people are heard and are actively co-creating strategic action plans.
After the facilitated meeting, a report is written whereby I synthesize, analyze and make recommendations, providing the organization with a plan moving forward. A feedback survey is also conducted.
This is a unique process to identify your long term vision. We do this by looking deeply at personal and organizational core values. This helps articulate your purpose. Understanding what is meaningful gives insight into why we do what we do. Understanding our purpose is crucial in guiding behaviour and provides a filter for making decisions. We go on to playfully co-create a bold and compelling vision by envisioning the future without present day constraints. This process allows us to dream big and gives us the inspiration to make work meaningful.
We take a bold vision and compare it to the current reality. By looking at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats we identify issues and ultimately rank them. Using this we create an action plan to move towards the vision. A clear strategic plan will assist your organization's ability to obtain it's potential and reach identified goals because it provides a path forward for staff to know how best to respond to challenges and opportunities.
I design exercises that bring teams together, that can happen in any stage in a team's development. These often get people to move around or give personal insights in to our strengths and struggles.
Graphic Facilitation also known as Visual Recording is one of many tools that a facilitator can use. It involves visually drawing out ideas. This engages people into the conversation by allowing them to see the big picture. Using images involves the brain in a different way than just writing out notes or listening to someone talk. Drawing out 'the story' or a range of ideas captures people's curiosity and imagination in a way that allows them to problem solve and generate ideas more effectively. The images can be used for future meetings or as reminders of commitments made and visions created.