The Benefits of Facilitation

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The Benefits of Facilitation

Editor’s note: This is the final installment in a series of three excerpts from an article originally published in The Competent Collaborator blog of Fulcrum Connection. See Part 1, “Misconceptions about Facilitation” in the March 2016 issue of Coffee Break and Part 2, “The Truth about Facilitation Skills” in the April 2016 issue.

These five key benefits of facilitation are based on the descriptions of facilitation services provided by the Hayes Group and the Kinharvie Institute

Benefit #1: Facilitation improves meeting outcomes. Improving meeting outcomes is one way of increasing the return on investment for meetings. The meeting investment is the sum of the salary per unit-time multiplied by the time for each individual in the meeting. The return on the investment is the monetary value that the results of the meeting enable relative to the meeting investment. Therefore, improving the meeting outcomes so that the results of the meeting enable actions that lead to value for the organization is one way of improving the return on investment.

Benefit #2: Facilitation improves meeting efficiency. Improving meeting efficiency means taking less time to reach a given set of outcomes and reduces the size of the investment needed to get to a certain return.

Benefit #3: Facilitation manages dysfunctional group behavior professionally. Sometimes you don’t have a choice about who needs to be involved in a meeting. Dysfunctional behavior by an individual in a group can drastically increase the meeting time. In addition, dysfunctional behavior by an individual in a meeting can thwart efforts to produce value. In a nutshell, dysfunctional behavior in a meeting is the enemy of return on investment from that meeting.

Benefit #4: Facilitation allows the leader to participate in the group work. Typically, leaders who hire facilitators not only understand the value of collaboration to spark innovation and produce needed change, but they also are great collaborators themselves. Professional facilitators do not engage in group work because they need to stay focused on process leadership in order to achieve the agreed-to meeting outcomes.

Benefit #5: Facilitation drives the group to accountability. Professionally facilitated meetings are highly interactive. The content is generated by the participants themselves. In addition, professionally facilitated meetings have established outcomes that drive informed action following the meeting. By generating content, participants have “skin in the game,” and willingly sign up for next steps associated with the meeting outcomes.

About the author

Valerie PatrickValerie PatrickValerie Patrick, founder of Fulcrum Connection, has led over 40 highly successful and high-performance teams across over 200 organizations in the last 15 years of a 25-year career with multi-national Bayer in the areas of product development, sustainable development, and organizational change. Dr. Patrick served as sustainability coordinator for Bayer’s North America operations, Head of Bayer Material Science’s Creative Center in Future Business, and Head of Bayer Material Science’s Transportation Industry Innovations group. Dr. Patrick has B.S. (Bucknell University), M.S. (California Institute of Technology), and Ph.D. (California Institute of Technology) degrees in chemical engineering, and is a CPF (Certified Professional Facilitator) trained Creative Problem Solving facilitator, SOQ (Situational Outlook Questionnaire) Qualified Climate Practitioner, and ADKAR Change Management Practitioner. Dr. Patrick is also author of both the Competent Collaborator Blog and Quadrant II Newsletter, and is host of the Science of Success: Social Secrets Podcast. (All can be found at http://www.fulcrumconnection.com.)

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