It's impossible to be part of an organization today and not attend meetings. Staff meetings, project meetings, task-force meetings, planning and coordinating meetings . . . the list is endless. The worst thing about many of these meetings is that they're poorly run and waste valuable time.
Today, there's a growing recognition that effective meetings happen when proper attention is paid to the process elements and when proceedings are skillfully facilitated.
For a long time, facilitation has been a rather vague and poorly understood practice, mastered only by human-resource types. This is beginning to change. We're now spending so much time in meetings and being asked to achieve so many important goals in teams that there's a growing need for skilled facilitation throughout our organizations and our communities.
Instead of being relegated to HR, facilitation is fast becoming a core competency for anyone who leads a team, manages a project, heads up a committee, or manages a department. All of these people need to be able to create and manage effective group dynamics that foster true collaboration.
Facilitation is also a central skill for today's managers, who are riding wave after wave of change. New demands are being placed on them. At the same time, the old command and control model of supervision, which worked for decades, is no longer as effective.
To get the most from people today, leaders have to know how to create buy-in, generate participation, and empower ...