Given the new remote-first work environments many of us are operating in, and the realities of leading hybrid or remote teams, it has never been more critical for leaders to build strong facilitative skills. Effective facilitators build buy-in and actively engage their team members. They ensure to make the most of their time when the team gathers to collaborate, problem solve and advance key projects.
Conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, people management, problem-solving, strategic thinking, and project management are still core and traditional leadership skills; however, the art and science of effective meeting facilitation has earned its way to the top of that skills list thanks to its extensive benefits.
“In a world that can be seen as increasingly fragmented and chaotic, leaders who can build participation, alignment and meaning are finding more success,” insists Vinay Kumar, Chair of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF). “Leaders who understand how to invite people into a participatory environment, and use the group energy to innovate fit well into today’s context. With the world calling for more inclusion and equity, tomorrow’s leaders need to be facilitators.” 1
Facilitative leaders focus on how teams will work on problems just as much as the problems themselves. Facilitative Leaders plan for inclusive meetings, enabling team members to work together to reach their goals and hold the team accountable. Leaders who have received training in facilitation skills are better able to draw out individual contributions and encourage positive behaviours.
Facilitative leadership can empower your team to solve problems, innovate or make better business decisions using a proven structured approach. This will lead to increased autonomy and strengthening of decision-making skills and a far greater sense of ownership.
Do you have a unique meeting challenge not covered by one of our blog posts? We’re always looking for different dilemmas to discuss in our articles!