Category: Coaching

Why should there be a facilitator in each workplace

Facilitation skills are a provision of opportunities and resources that support a group to succeed in achieving its desired goals. The word facilitate’ comes from a Latin which means ‘to make easy’. It is the art of focusing the collective group energy on a specific goal. It is a diverse field which relies on facilitators who have a broad collection of facilitation skills and approaches. 

 A facilitator is a person whose role is to guide people through the process to a successful result. This process could be a meeting, training and development session, team building or any situation involving a group of people where the desired goals or targets have to be met. A facilitator contributes structure and processes to interactions so groups are able to function efficiently and make high quality decisions. 

 Facilitation skills are essential to successful team and group work. That means it is also critical to the company’s success, especially given the presence of conflict in today’s time. While conflict may at first seem destructive and not very comfortable, it can be very creative. But conflict needs effective management so that it remains part of a creative rather than destructive process. This is where effective facilitation skills are extremely helpful to keep the team on track, keep the relationships intact to successfully achieve business outcomes. 

 Everyone in the company benefits from goodfacilitation skills. Those that benefit the most from them are more likely to be team leaders and supervisorsFacilitation skills enable a team to arrive at satisfactory outcomes with different agendas and varied chosen outcomes. 

 Steps to achieve effective facilitation skills:- 

 Facilitation helps everyone to feel that they worked together to achieve the best possible outcome of the task. Clearly facilitation has an important role to play in the success of any business. Furthermore, facilitation skills can also help team members to understand how to improve their business communication. When learning how to improve speaking skills and presentation skills, facilitation skills are important. Here are the steps to achieve effective facilitation skills  

  • Set the ground rules 

Always begin by setting the objectivesHaving an outline structure and time for reflection is very helpful. Start by helping the group to clarify an outcome that is practical to achieve in the given time and aim to create an environment of trust and confidentiality.  

  • Always be impartial 

The challenge is to influence the group and not dominate it. This means being able to suppress your own ideas and encouraging others to talk. A facilitator needs to only encourage the group to consider his/her ideas not as a dictator.  

  • Understand group dynamics 

The key is to unlocking the group’s potential to achieve its goal because this is where one can get into the interaction between group members. It is important to make use of questions to clarify, concentrate on the emotional temperament and try to read the body language for any answers. 

  • Use your own personality 

A facilitator’s role is being all about the energy and confidence with which he or she brings their facilitation skills forward. To create an open and honest environment, people need an empathic personal presence and the group needs to respect and believe in you. They also need to feel confident that a facilitator will be able to deal with any obstacle and guide them in the right direction. 

  • Intervene only when necessary 

It is important to continuously notice what is going on with the group and then decide what to do about it. A challenging group can be tricky to handle. Facilitator may need to ask difficult questions which might draw attention to difficult process issues which the group may find uncomfortable to deal with sometimes.  

  • Handling tough situations 

Dealing with difficult people and conflict are two of the major challenges to an effective facilitation. With conflict, there are tactics and skills that one can develop to respond to such situations because success is often determined by how an issue is addressed.  If one comes across a tough individual, one may choose to confront that person in private and give them feedback their impact on the group. 

  • The art to practice 

Having good facilitation skills is an art and not a science. The skills that are involved – good observation and listening, observing body language, understanding human psychology, can all be achieved through continuous practiceThe more we practice our facilitation skills, the more comfortable we will become as a facilitator. 

The importance of facilitation skills:- 

Organizations today, are in need of people with great facilitation skills because without them, they risk reaching a stagnation point. That is not likely to be the most favorable outcome for anyone involved, and it is here that facilitation skills prove their worth. It is surprisingly easy to fall into the trap where organizations ignore the need for an effective facilitation and therefore fail to consider all the possibilities. This can be extremely damaging to organizations that have the potential to develop a rich culture without any challenges or fear of the repercussions.  

 Without effective facilitation skills, one will find it hard to find creativity within the group. This is because these key skills help team members understand how to present a presentation appropriately to the needs of their audience and how to communicate a message in an appeasing manner. 

 Benefits of facilitation skills to the organization:- 

Having effective working relationships with people at work can be tricky to manage. Effective group facilitation requires certain abilities to manage the interaction of challenging conversations. These abilities help a great deal to the organization as a whole. 

  • There is more productivity. Having a facilitator with good facilitation skills guide the process provides focus and a sense of deliberateness to the conversation. 
  • Saves time.By investing in a facilitator, you will actually spend less time in both meetings and doing damage control outside the meeting. 
  • Having better outcomes. The facilitator ensures that all opinions are heard and that there is no process loss. A good facilitator aims for a collaborative harmonywhich the decision has been thoroughly discussed and everyone is willing to support and live with it. 
  • Increased commitment from the team.A facilitator should believe that the answer lies within the collective intelligence of the team with which the probability of successful completion increases dramatically. 
  • Having less stress.Facilitators focus on the process the employees do not have to. One can fully engage in the content of the discussion knowing that the facilitator is familiar to all aspects of the team process. 
  • Ability to create better relationships. At the end of the day, people not only wants to feel good about the outcomes achieved but also feel good about the people they worked with.  Facilitators with their facilitation skills are great at managing the team dynamics to ensure a collaborative and supportive environment. 

 Benefits of good facilitation to the employees:- 

  • Clear communication of the strategy in the direction of the organization 

To ensure that an employee’s career goals are in sync with the company’s goals, the organization needs to be open about its strategy and future directions from the very beginning. Employees cannot be in charge of their career and make good career decisions if they do not understand where their organization is going. 

  • Learning about new opportunities within the organization 

Most employees find it easier to leave their present organization to gain better and new experiences and build their portfolio of skills than to take a new role within the same organization. Senior management can assist in changing this behavior by promoting and facilitating internal transfers. Moving to different functions can help build a girth of knowledge of the organization that will help individuals build good leadership skills.  

  • Proactively managing opportunities for high potential employees 

Most people learn through their experiences, so getting access to development opportunities is the key to keep the employees engaged. However, more often than not, access to good opportunities is mostly dependent on being in the right place at the right time or hearing about the opportunity before othersWhile considering our most valuable employees, it is important to be determined in their development and to plan for key experiences that will help to develop the facilitation skills they need to become good leaders.  

  • Help employees customize their career 

Employees who are the most able to attract different phases in their lives which allows them to ramp up or ramp down during different events going on in their personal and professional lives. 

  • Clear articulation of expectations at different levels 

Employees often get frustrated when they do not know how to get ahead in work or how to develop themselves for the future. By being clear about their performance expectations for the future, employees will be able to more accurately self-assess if they have what it takes to move ahead in their organization. Sometimes employees may have an inaccurate perception of their ability to succeed in the organization, and having clear expectations will help managers with the same situation. 

 Facilitation can take a lot of mental effort, meaning that it can be difficult to think about and contribute content at the same time while facilitating. Neutrality is also very important. As an effective facilitator, one must know when to take a leadership role, and when to be neutral and sit back. The key is to be proficient in the given role and guide the proceedings effectively and to remain focused on the group process rather than specific opinions. Facilitation is an important role to take on and facilitation skills are greatly rewarding. 

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The Importance of executive coaching and mentoring

It happens so often that the terms executive coaching and mentoring are used alternatively but they are rather different from one another.  

Executive coaching equips an individual to deal with confidently and completely with critical near-term issues, aid you to perfect leadership and management skills and is also said to focus on the needs that were recognized in the 360-degree review that was conducted by the coach, the company or an external agent. The focus of an executive coach is on the short-term outcomes. It is designed to achieve the optimum results in a minimum amount of time. Executive coaches are also said to motivate, inspire and encourage while insisting the clients are in lieu with their priorities and objectives.  

Executive mentoring deals with a broader aspect in comparison to executive coaching. Unlike executive coaching, mentors help their clients with the immediate as will as long-term goals that stretch well into the future. Executive mentoring focuses on teaching an individual to how to execute or impart wisdom in using their skills. Mentors provide their assistance in a range of activities that range from personal to professional to ensure their client’s growth and development.  

Efficient functioning of executive coaching and mentoring ensures that employees are provided a platform to learn, connect and grow within the company and to get a boost for their career paths. 

The significance of executive coaching and mentoring is as states below: 

Retention  

Executive coaching and mentoring promote loyalty. This sense of loyalty towards the company or organization develops as commitment and connection felt by the mentees when the mentors help them provide opportunities and mould their careers. Positive work experience is encountered when the employee feels comfortable with the management encourages open communication and this is carried out by executive coaching. The money spent on continual recruitment and training of replacement employees is eliminated.  

Personal Development 

The expertise and knowledge of the experienced employees results in a better efficiency as this may aid the younger and ewer employees to learn the methods of the organization. Executive coaching and mentoring may further guide the employees in become well versed of the expectations of the organization. Coaching, and the boundaries of a trusted and confidential relationships provides a platform for the employees to resolve their issues and concerns. This acts as a benefit to the organization as it aids in the reduction of frustration on a personal level and improves the individual’s job satisfaction.  

Team Efficiency 

Apart form providing individual focus on the employee, executive coaching and mentoring improve the functions of the team, department and the entire organization. As the managers receive executive coaching and mentoring, it helps them identify the weaknesses and strengths of each of their employees. This is so that even when the employees take request vacation or take a sick day, the organization can capitalize on the resources available to ensure that the entire team works efficiently.  

Therefore, we can see that executive coaching and mentoring can provide an array of benefits for the any kind of organization. Thus, the implementation of executive coaching and mentoring in an organization can become an excellent contribution to ensure the overall development of the individual employee as well as the organization.  

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Six Reasons to Utilize Executive Coaching Solutions

Executive coaching solutions can be described as the solutions proposed and prepared by coaches to tackle the problems in certain areas and to improve the quality of the coache (executive leaders). Executive coaches provide solutions that would act as catalyst to challenge and support the coache (executive leaders) in identifying their leadership skills and acknowledge the change that is required. These changes are ensured to be impactful and to be sustainable for a long period of a time.

Some of the methods followed by executive coaching solutions are given below:

Self-directed learning

Executive coaching solutions place emphasis on ensuring that the coaches help coachee (executive leader) identify their area of problems or impasse through a structured questioning approach rather than the traditional method of directing or advising. Being self-directed is the most efficient way to learn, think, invent, solve problems, visualize, rethink and re-engineer. This is directed to help the coachee to form definitive ideas, regulate relationships between concepts and optimizing their thoughts.

Solution-focused effort

Executive coaching services do not focus on just searching for the cause of the problem but is also about finding the best suited solution. It is about creating a vision towards an end goal and working towards that goal while simultaneously being focused on the solution. The focus is on positive change as opposed to deficit focused change. The first step is recognized as identifying the reason for coaching – as an amazing opportunity for growth, development, self-insight and career progression.

Positive feedback

Executive coaching solutions focus on an approach that is directed towards positive reinforcement where the frequency of a desired behaviour is increased by increasing the favourable stimulus. That is, the solution is more focused to identify the verbal appreciation or such reinforcements that is found to be favourable to the coachee in order to increase the desired behaviour of the coachee. Positive feedback is found to act as a signal to the brain to perform more of something. The executive coaching solutions try to avoid pointing out what the coachees do wrong. Encouragement and support are seen to increase the coachees confidence and performance.

The stretch

Executive coaching solutions believe that people work better when challenged and stretched. The term stretched is used to describe the ability to push people to their limits and help them exercise their potential to their fullest. These challenges and the stretch should be designed to be appropriate for each individual. When the coachees are stretched appropriately to think differently and perform actions that are different in nature help the coachees feel invigorated. This gives the coachees a chance to showcase their knowledge in different ways in order to develop their thinking along new lines.

Leadership acceleration

Executive coaching solutions circle on the idea that increased responsibility is accompanied by heightened expectations. This entails preparing leaders for the next role in the stepping ladder of leadership while exploring their competencies and discover potentials shifts in their leadership styles. Executive coaching solutions aim to gear the leaders for their next roles while producing stand out results.

360-degree feedback and development planning

While practicing positive feedback is a method of executive coaching solutions, 360-degree feedback and the development planning managers and peers provide insightful feedback that enhances self-awareness of a leader, identify strengths and targets required development plans. This maybe facilitated by developing a customised 360-feedback process or by optimizing the organization’s existing feedback process.

Enhancing high potential performance

The current business environment demands rapid and accelerating change which compels leader to deliver results in the highest possible level. Executive coaching solutions also help the leaders excel and progress in their current roles. The substantial difference in the leadership is brought about through introspection, stakeholder feedback, development planning, ongoing coaching support and progress measurement.

Executive Coaching can be a great solution for HR-based practices and for developing the senior leaders.

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Trivandrum OBT

Team Building locations around Trivandrum

Outbound training programs have energy of their own – they let people discover things about themselves and their team members – things they may have missed so far or those never really on display in the sterile environs of the office.You can choose from several teambuilding locations around Trivandrum in Kerala that provide the right ambiance for perfect teambuilding programs.

1.About Trivandrum

Trivandrum or Thiruvananathapuram as it is officially known is the capital city of “God’s Own Country” – Kerala. There are several places of tourist interest in Trivandrum right from the lakes and lagoons to the mountains, waterfalls and beaches. Museums, art galleries, palaces, temples and wildlife sanctuaries – this city has them all.

2.  Team building locations around Trivandrum

Some of the locations around Trivandrum also provide the perfect setting for teambuilding sessions. While there are a number of resorts that provide the facilities and infrastructure for indoor sessions on teambuilding and leadership training, the real secret of memorable teambuilding programs is in using the locales in an around Trivandrum to drive home crucial concepts.

3.  Agastyarkoodam

This is a mountain peak of the western Ghatmountains which at 1868 m, is Kerala’s second highest mountain peak. Covered with dense forests, Agastyarkoodam peak is the ideal place to take your team trekking and set them learning about resource management, communication, empathy and working in unity. The state forest department has to be notified in advance and will issue forest passes to allow you entry into this area.

4.  Vaiyanthol/Aruvi Waterfalls

Located in the Peppara forest range, the Vaiyanthol peak is home to the Aruvi Waterfalls. Entry into this area also requires permission from the forest department and after leaving the area called Bonecaud, there is no road. All your team has to do is take a few risks, learn and unlearn, and be prepared to trust and depend on each other for support, besides listening to and obeying the instructions of the guides from the Kaani tribe who guide trekkers to the peak – quite a lot of learning in one session, you’ll agree.

5.  Shangumugham Beach

Less crowded than the more popular Kovalam beach, the Shangumugham Beach can be the perfect spot for some uninhibited fun in the water and on the sands. Besides providing some much-needed stress relief, the beach also turns into the ideal spot for teambuilding exercises when you get your team to begin building sand castles. The castle turns into a metaphor for the organization, and team members begin to introspect, identify and examine their abilities to set goals, use creativity to solve problems and develop of sense of doing their part with responsibility.

6.  Aaranmula Village

To really see the concept of teamwork in action and its ability to fetch results for the team, take your trainees to the little village of Aaranmula during August-September when it is time for Kerala’s oldest river boat festival. Get them to watch as massive teams (100 rowers, four helmsmen and 25 “motivational” singers on each boat work in perfect rehearsed union to win the race. If you manage to arrange a chat with these boating teams – great; even if you cannot, just watching them in action will open your trainees’ eyes to the magic of teamwork.

Taking your team to teambuilding locations around Trivandrum can thus help set the base for team members to develop the willingness to coordinate and communicate. The sharing of experiences that pit the team as a united force against the elements or require them to overcome the obstacles of conventional thinking paves the way for mutual respect, unity of effort and smooth functioning of the team.

Filed under: Coaching

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