Facilitation skills for leaders

7th April 2011

Most large organisations continually go through cycles of change, in order to remain competitive. In this day and age, it’s not enough to command and control a workforce through organisational change.

This week I heard a leader say, ‘what do we need to be aligned, do we just need to tell them?’. It provoked me to think that some of the fundamentals of facilitation should be understood and practiced by all leaders who want to engage with their people, not just for those people who specialise in facilitation.

The kind of fundamentals I mean are:

  • an appreciation of process Vs content, that enables clarity of thinking about what needs to be done separately from how it is done.
  • the basics of group dynamics, and how to get decisions that stick in groups
  • creating trust and respect in groups and converseley, handling conflict creatively.
  • the collaboration continuum, knowing when to tell and when to engage people

I think that if leaders were trained in just some of these fundamentals then organisations would get better quality decision making at a senior level. The investment in educating leaders would be small compared to the business benefits.