The Facilitator (inside a team)


What is a facilitator?

In several methodologies, even in the most modern ones, such as agile, the role of facilitator has taken great importance, but far from specifying in this definition I will try to abstract what the true role of the facilitator is.

A facilitator is a person who mainly stands out for getting the ways to achieve the team’s objectives. Facilitates the team’s success.

As conditions we can find the following:

1) Leadership: The facilitator leads, doesn’t give orders, is not a boss. Can recommend, give different points of vision to team members and manages to establish a general vision that all members can follow and align. With the vision allows the processes to be carried properly, because it doesn’t impose, but helps each member have the right tools and advice to achieve their work. Also ensures the good atmosphere in the work team and the flow of communication, as the first tool to make things happen. Above all, doesn’t influence the decisions of each one or the tasks of each member. Doesn’t generate the content of what happens, but from the outside, helps in what the team generates is on track and have the tools to achieve it. Obviously all this also implies guaranteeing the exchange of ideas, respect, clarifying, suggesting, resolving peer conflicts, facilitating the visualization and obtaining of information, ordering the conversations, ensuring the states of mind and that every member of the team feels satisfied in it.

2) Forecast and vision: It’s essential to have foresight of the issues. Anticipate what will happen or what the team will need. Forecasting and vision is gained through experience, learning, experimenting, reading, conversing, interacting, achieving failures and successes. You have to prepare, have the tools ready for when things happen. The team needs to know the conditions, what can happen, what is going to happen, be prepared, ask what they need. The team must know how to prepare it. Something I usually do, is to show the cards and see what can happen, but let each of them clash with reality to learn with experience and not be limited to what one solves. This doesn’t mean having a plan, the idea is to have a prepared team and be a visionary to facilitate things in the future.

3) Provide conditions: We all have desires and needs. Many of us have personal goals. We must try to provide a space for each one to achieve their objective and align it with the team’s objectives.

4) Be at the service of the team: It’s very important that the facilitator is not a member of the team, but participates from the outside. This is recommended since the facilitator doesn’t have to be an executor because it becomes something else and not a facilitator. On the other hand, you have to be only available to be attending to the needs of the team. It’s like the trainer of a team.

5) Delegate: The facilitator not execute. Recommends to the members what tasks to perform. Detects values ​​and assigns new responsibilities for the growth of each team member. Makes you think, recommends. Look for each one to have autonomy.

6) Integrate: the facilitator integrates the ideas. Listen to all but don’t defend any. The final decision is participatory and collaborative. Build together. The facilitator adapted easily. In this construction we will find many strong points and others weak, the facilitator orders construction and ideas. You have to make everyone speak, everyone think, that each of you have a point of view and opinion. We all must be heard. Always focusing on the process and not on the content, you have to be impartial.

7) Conflict mediator: The facilitator has to be a conflict mediator. He must have the ability to empathize with the parties and reach agreement and explain the pros and cons of each position. Find the fears of each part of the conflict and know how to mitigate the problems to achieve common agreement, at least at the team level.

8) Best practices: The facilitator looks for the team to be better.

9) Teach and transmit: The facilitator is a teacher. Take care of people and above all “philosophize” with them. It makes them questioning, thinking. It seeks to find the “freedom” to make a cocktail of happiness in the tasks and roles of each. We must transmit passion, example, experience, knowledge, is a whole, is to make the whole team is an entity.

10) Transformation: The facilitator generates transformation. The dynamic makes the transformation part of the processes as a continuous improvement and make a sure success sooner.

What do you think?

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Matías Creimerman
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