Category: Workshop Facilitation

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 harmony, which 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:-

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 others. While 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.

4. 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.

5. 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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Deal With Office Gossip

Gossip in office is something that is natural, given the way people like to swap information about others. However, when it starts getting nastily personal and aims at casting someone in a bad light, you have to step in to rein in the gossipers. An important part of executive development is learning to maintain a professional demeanor at the office and you need to impress this on your team by taking speedy action to stem the gossip. Here is a step-wise guide on how to go about this.

  1. Identify if there is some truth behind the stories you hear and get factual information on this issue.
  2. Have a closed-door meeting with the persons who are the source of the gossip. Ask them to give an explanation of why they are saying the things they are. Maintain a positive attitude towards the gossipers; if you are committed to real executive development, you need to provide your employees opportunities to overcome their weaknesses. Check if a gossiper feels hurt because he or she missed a promotion, or feels discriminated against.
  3. Say that you are planning to take up this issue with the person whom the gossiper is targeting. Most people who gossip are attention-seekers and will back down when you call their bluff.
  4. Assess if there is some underlying workplace issue such as insufficient or hostile communication or a lack of trust that is triggering this response from the gossiper. Consider holding a soft skill training or executive development program for your office staff to help improve employee morale.
  5. Include a point on office gossip in your company policy. Have it specified in black and white what you consider gossip and provide specific information on how your office will handle it.

Every organization has its own version of office politics, given the competitive nature of employees. As a leader or someone with leadership aspirations, you need to make sure that you do not join in with the office gossip even unknowingly. An important lesson in executive development is to always be watchful of how you talk about someone personally in the workplace.

You may not be able to put a complete end to office gossip but by dealing with it intelligently, you can certainly prevent it from becoming a spiteful and disruptive force that causes ill will among employees.

The Strengthscape designs and delivers customized soft skill training programs across India. Our program in emotional intelligence is highly innovative, full of fun and helps build a high performance team. We bring the best of facilitation techniques and subject matter expertise to make the intervention truely memorable. We provide services in all major indian cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and many more.

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Paper Tearing Game

Learning/Application: Better Communication

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Importance Of Work Environment

Role of DiSC in improving work Environment

The criteria for selecting or rejecting a job are generally salary, role, brand, etc. However, what people generally miss out on while considering different jobs is the work environment and culture. The importance of a positive work environment is being increasingly realized by many, but is still taken lightly by some. As people spend most of their time working, the environment impacts the person greatly.  The work environment influences a person in various ways which might not be apparent but cannot be ignored.

A few ways in which a positive and collaborative work environment helps the organization and its employees are that it acts as a motivator, improves performance and helps in retention of the employees in the long run. Many studies conducted over a period of time show that positive work environment plays a crucial role in employee satisfaction. A negative work environment on the other hand not only lowers the productivity of the employee but also adds to the cost to the organization. Many experiments have shown that maximum learning and creativity takes place in a stress free environment. Thus, it becomes a prerequisite for organizations to ensure a healthy work environment for all the employees.

Employees are an important part of the work environment. It is seen that many times people are unable to adjust with some people and this may lead to forming a perception about them. Using an example to illustrate this, if two employees, A and B, are working in an office but don’t know each other well. They have separate group of friends. They need to work together for a project. Let us consider A as a quick decision maker and might get a little aggressive under stress and B as a person who likes to deliberate before taking a decision.

The differences between the two individuals may lead to each other forming a perception about the other person.  A may come across as dominating to B whereas B may come across as confused or slow in decision making. This perception might lead to chain reaction of events where A and B share their views about  each other with their friends, whose thoughts might actually get colored without even direct interaction with that person.

This is very common in most of the organizations. However, it can be reduced by understanding the fact that the person is behaving in a particular way just because he belongs to a particular style and that no style is bad. A behavioral assessment tool like DiSC provides the people with a common language and thus, helps in replacing the negativity with a more understanding and positive talk. In the process, it automatically leads to a more conducive, creative, inclusive and healthier work environment.

Therefore, building a positive work environment is important for multiple reasons and DiSC tool can be a great contributor to a healthy work environment.

 

Filed under: Workshop Facilitation