Skip to main content

Taking Process Facilitation to the Next Level

Process facilitation
June 13, 2023 10:00 am

Facilitation First, President and Owner, Michael Goldman, recently had the pleasure of being a guest on the Wellbeing Podcast to share his expertise on the topic of facilitation. According to Goldman, facilitation can be broken down into two areas: content facilitation and process facilitation.

“When you look at facilitation as kind of a broad term, it breaks down to two different areas”, Goldman explained, “The first area is content facilitation”.

A content facilitator is someone who delivers their own content and subject matter expertise. “They very much are opinionated, and they have some knowledge that educates other folks. So, they’re the ones doing most of the talking. Trainers are content facilitators, teachers are content facilitators.”

Content facilitators ask questions and encourage group interaction to help participants understand the content and apply it to their work. But as Mike put it “Good trainers or teachers at some point take off their content facilitator hat and they put on their process facilitator hat”, and that is what we teach at Facilitation First!

At Facilitation First, we focus on three key areas to help individuals make the transition from a content to a process facilitator:

1. Facilitator Behaviour

  • Showing up and behaving as a process leader.

2. Meeting Structure

  • Facilitation requires creating a structure that fosters engagement, creates a safe environment, and ensures that all participants have an equal opportunity to participate and contribute. The structure should follow a process or series of process steps with timing, flow and clarity around how to participate.

3. Managing Groups

  • Effective facilitators must have the skills and knowledge necessary to manage challenging group dynamics, such as conflicts, disagreements, resistance to change and dysfunctional behaviours.

“So, you can show up really well, you can have a really great, dynamic process…” states Goldman, “…but if you don’t manage the interpersonal dynamics, all of that falls down.”

At Facilitation first we help people understand the art and science of facilitation. While there are certain steps that can be taken to ensure success, the way a facilitator puts it all together will vary depending on the person, context, client, and group. Effective facilitation is a combination of both science and art. Facilitation is a critical skill for success in today’s business world. By training people on how to be effective process facilitators, we help individuals and organizations achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

Let us Know

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!