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The importance of facilitation in the workplace and how to achieve this

Facilitation is essentially a process by which consensus can be achieved. It is a method that enables more productive outcomes and so has significant value to any business. Managers with facilitation skills can help to ensure that outcomes are positive and group sessions or meetings remain focused and efficient. But what does facilitation look like in the workplace and what kind of skills does it require?

Why is facilitation important?

Having a facilitator in a meeting can completely change the experience of that meeting. Not only will the facilitator ensure everyone remains focused on the issues, saving time and resources often wasted on distracted discussion, but they will also be able to keep the momentum of the meeting moving. Facilitators can resolve disputes, manage difficulties and find a consensus that might otherwise have been out of reach.

Achieving facilitation in the workplace

Individual facilitation

This type of facilitation is usually required where two people have found themselves at odds with each other. Being a facilitator here requires standing as an arbitrating figure, setting mutual goals or providing a debrief on a project or experience. It’s about finding consensus and a way to move forward past a dispute, as well as helping the individuals concerned to develop.

Group facilitation

The challenge in group facilitation is dealing with all the parties involved and keeping multiple minds focused on the same topic. This can be achieved in a number of ways:

• Creating a structure for the meeting beforehand, designed to help achieve specific objectives and maintain momentum.
• Ensuring that information or data is being presented simply and in a way that everyone at the meeting understands.
• Getting everyone invested in the outcome of the meeting so that there is a sense of shared responsibility.
• Establishing a process that will engage participants in achieving objectives before the meeting has even begun.

Facilitation skills

A number of key skills and characteristics are required for a good facilitator, including:

• Being empathetic and developing strong listening and communication skills
• A good understanding of interpersonal dynamics and how to manage them, for example creating a group signal that any of the participants can use to indicate the need for a
change of pace, such as taking a time out or intervening to make a point.
• Effective group leadership
• Being able to structure training and team building so that everyone feels the desire to participate
• Developing an understanding of communication, both verbal and non-verbal, such as using signals (e.g. a wave or eyebrow raise) to indicate that it’s time for someone else to speak or the topic needs further discussion.
• Comprehension of group dynamics and not being afraid to intervene where necessary to preserve the flow of the meeting or session
• A sound understanding of the infrastructure and processes of the workplace.

Our Introduction to Facilitation Skills course is designed for those looking to use facilitation as a means to engage, enroll and enthuse people to adopt a change in working practices.

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.