In the quest to achieve the desired outcome in a given organisation, facilitation skills are essential. In the HR department of a workplace, facilitation skills are crucial for mobilizing the workforce towards attaining a particular goal. Facilitation skills unit offers a unique set of skills in development and learning as well as diverse knowledge of different facilitation techniques in different professional contexts. Students learn how to organize and manage a facilitation process that yields the desired outcome.
In the dynamic business world, facilitation skills are an added advantage for anyone in a leadership position, may it be a focus group, a research or even teams. The unit (facilitation skills), explores the various facilitation models and techniques used for effective facilitation. Some of the techniques that the students are expected to learn include closure and warm up techniques, reaching consensus, facilitating experiential and group learning, facilitating meetings, managing conflict and observing and interpreting behaviour. At the end of the unit, depending on the learner’s practical model, each student is encouraged to reflect on their personal facilitation skills and identify gaps that should be improved.
Facilitation skills are a crucial set of skills for any person working or aspiring to work in a managerial position of an organisation. A person who has learned facilitation skills is likely to have successful outcome when they need to run a meeting, organize for a training course, find a common ground on an issue as well as solve a problem. Skills in facilitation are important for people in leadership position regardless of what they may be leading i.e. small organisational teams, focus groups or research groups. This unit is suitable for all students whose focus is to successfully design and manage events in their careers. Additionally, persons working or seeking to work in development and learning careers as well as human resource department need to understand and possess facilitation skills. Line managers in organisations can make their production more effective if they possess facilitation skills.
Facilitation Skills will help participants to gain the confidence and skills to work effectively with groups to solve problems, make decisions, create new ideas, and agree direction and plan action in a productive way. They’ll learn from an experienced facilitator how to improve their personal communication and interaction skills including questioning, summarising and active listening.
The unit is made up of many practical lessons that enable learners understand facilitation skills. The first lesson that students learn is the meaning of the term facilitation and facilitator. In the same lesson, the learner will be able to put into context the primary terms used in the unit as well as develop skills to recognise different behaviours. Learners also learn the basic necessities of effective facilitation and the primary functions of facilitation. Emphasis is made to different aspects of emotional intelligence in difficult situations to train the learner on how to control their emotions in their capacity as facilitators.
Lessons on the facilitation process are also covered in this unit. The process comprises of three primary stages namely; decision making, outcome and products. Designing the process from the first step to the final step which is achieving the desired goal requires that the facilitator has facilitation techniques offered in this unit. Examples of facilitation techniques include affinity diagram, awareness technique, brainstorming, the hanger technique among others. At this point, learners are further taught on the different stages of group development and the necessary facilitation skills for each stage. The lessons cover management of the audience and the dynamics of groups. Further on, identification of different personalities within a given group is essential in facilitation.
Facilitation skills are important in HR and L&D because they facilitate in the identification of situations that need intervention. Different facilitation tools are used for different events. For example, facilitation for meetings will require a different set of tools and skills compared to facilitating for consensus building. However, the most common facilitation tools as taught in the unit include storytelling, the blue sky discussion, analytical models as well as role plays.
The unit gives valuable lessons on how to deal with conflict or even challenging behaviour as it discusses the roles of different people in conflict management. The last lessons of the unit give practical scenarios for students to apply their knowledge in small group of practical sessions. Examining case studies to identify both strengths and weaknesses of a given facilitator are also covered in the unit. Primarily, the unit focuses on core values, dynamic techniques and experiential facilitation of effective facilitation.
Upon completion of the unit, the learner should be able to plan and prepare for facilitating events as well as meet the needs of the participants. The students should also be in a position to solve any problems that may arise in the course of the meeting and ensure that they attain the primary objective of the meeting. A facilitating skills unit student should also be in a position to:
This is a unit suitable for anyone who would like to familiarize themselves with their own facilitation skills in a safe environment. It is a unit that offers a firm foundation for facilitators to work with different groups by exploring techniques and frameworks of facilitation. To become an excellent facilitator one should possess a set of unique skills that should be constantly applied in a facilitation process. The skills as taught in the unit include but are not limited to; planning, negotiating, questioning, listening, involving, problem solving time keeping as well as recording. Acquiring knowledge of facilitating skills boosts the confidence of the facilitator with diverse style and techniques of delivery. The primary difference between an excellent facilitator and a good facilitator is training and experience.