Some key learnings as a workshop facilitator

Over the past 10 years I have designed and facilitated numerous ideation, brainstorming, strategy and planning sessions.

In all but one occasion* I added significant value.

But someone asked me the other day why and when should I use an external facilitator?

This is a great question.

Based on my experience here are the pros and cons.

The pros of using an external workshop facilitator

– The facilitator can challenge the thinking of the group

– Keep the group focused on achieving the objective of the session or day.

– Allows the leader to be part of the group.

– Can stop the extroverted people (for example) from dominating the discussion.

– Ensures that everyone contributes.

– Can ask tough questions and enter difficult political areas.

– Often the session is more thought-through and planned in advance.

– A good facilitator will have a breath of perspective and a bag of effective tools.

– It often has symbolic value because the leader has commissioned an external facilitator — this is important is the key message.

The cons of using an external workshop facilitator

– It is expensive

– Slower

– A poor facilitator can dominate proceedings

– One size fits all problem with some facilitators (i.e rather than customising the session around the goals).

– It may mean that people are less likely to embrace change if it is forced upon them?

In summary

I am biased of course but if you have a difficult problem or the group feels stuck then using an external workshop facilitator that you trust can be a powerful investment.

* In this session I did not tell the group where I was headed and why hence the engagement was not what it should have been.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This