If you are a recurrent reader of our blog, you'll know we firmly believe in the role of the facilitator. We consider it an essential tool for improving a team's process.
It could be hard to find the right person for this role, and sometimes it's not even possible to have one person entirely dedicated to it. The alternative is to train members of your current team.
The first thing it's to choose the right person for the role. We advise you to pick someone trusted by his/her teammates, that listens actively and enjoys empowering his/her colleagues. We hope you have someone like that on the team!
When you choose the candidate, next time you have an ideation session, give him/her the role of an observant. The only thing s/he should do is reflect on how the team is behaving and moving through the process. The facilitator should take notes and give some suggestions if s/he feels can contribute to the process. This exercise will help develop empathy and an eye for the emotional state of the group.
After a couple of sessions, it's time to move to the next stage; designing an ideation session. The facilitator should this time take the lead and prepare the exercises, ask the right questions and propose methodology according to the goal of the meeting.
Of course, all colleagues should give him/her feedback and point out what worked well and what things didn't. In that way, the facilitator will learn from mistakes and will understand what helps his/her colleagues.
It's also essential to understand that this is not a one-person job. All members of the team can help the facilitator with proposals, suggestions and contributions. S/he shouldn't feel alone in the role and with all the responsibility on his/her shoulders.
The last stage of the training could be designing his/her own tools and methodology. This part takes time and experience, so you shouldn't rush it.
In your team, who would you choose for the facilitator role?