Don´t worry. It is an occupational hazard. Sometimes I long for a simple answer to the “what-do-you-do?” question. I envy those who can say, “I am a poet… manicurist… construction manager…” or any other familiar job category.
The International Association of Facilitators has defined six key competencies by which to evaluate facilitators. IIFAC´s International Certificate Program in Professional Facilitation is designed around these skills.
But let me go beyond the human resources jargon and provide a few examples of what we do.
Facilitators set the stage so that groups can have the conversations they need to have.
We create the conditions that foster fruitful collaboration, effective teamwork and mutual understanding.
While being deeply respectful of the group´s culture, we suggest innovative ways of discussing the important issues.
We consider the participation needs of all those involved – not just the leaders or decision-makers. How do all the parties get a voice at the table?
We consider both the practical details (room size and set up, location of bathrooms and electrical outlets, availability of drinking water and need for translation) and the high aspirations of the group.
Are these examples helpful? Can you begin to visualize yourself in the role of the process facilitator?
Our next series of courses begin in April in Bogotá, Colombia and Cuernavaca, Mexico.