Wondering if hiring a workshop facilitator is worth it for your organization? Read here to learn how bringing in a facilitator can enhance your team.
“It’s tempting, but dangerous and sometimes ineffective to turn passion for a topic into a desire to facilitate a discussion around that topic. It’s difficult to stay nuetral about something you care about deeply. However, when the group detects bias, they can no longer trust your faciliatation.” — Kevin M. Hoffman
Do your office meetings seem to produce the same outcomes time after time? Are they disorganized and unengaging to your employees? Meetings, trainings, and workshops aren’t always associated with engagement and productivity, but these qualities are exactly what we should be striving for. Meetings should, and can, be a time when all employees get a chance to be heard and to contribute.
Workshop facilitation transforms meeting structure and dynamic. A professional meeting moderator has the ability to lead objectively and strategically to produce better outcomes at your company meeting or working session.
So, how can we produce the best outcome for meetings and workshops? One simple way is by hiring a workshop facilitator; it can help your company reap better outcomes from your next team session.
Why You Should Hire a Workshop Facilitator
For some, meetings are a time to contribute and socialize with coworkers. For others (let’s be honest), they can be opportunities to catch up on email or tune out. But, when you have a professional workshop facilitator at the helm, you can get the whole group engaged and participating, which leads to more productive meetings.
1. A Non-Biased Leader
Meetings and workshops need to have structure. But, if there’s too much structure, employees may not get a chance to speak. To balance these two needs, ground rules should be implemented.
Workshop facilitators are responsible for ensuring that the team adheres to the ground rules that lead to a successful working session. For example, the facilitator keeps your meeting on task and makes sure that everyone participates.
A workshop facilitator is a non-biased and neutral figure at your meeting. They are removed from office politics, making it easier to enforce good behavior from everyone. When ground rules are enforced, less time is wasted. Your employees will appreciate and be impressed by a meeting that ends on-time and where everyone is heard.
2. Greater Engagement
Meetings and work cultures generally take on a routine. People usually know what to expect on a day-to-day basis. They also know how most meetings will go. Depending on your meeting history and feedback, this could either be good or bad. If you’ve heard more negative reviews than positive, it might be time to hire a workshop facilitator.
A workshop facilitator is a fresh new face and personality at the meeting. They can help to break old patterns and create new ones.
When your employees walk in and notice someone else is running the meeting, they will be more excited or curious to see if the meeting pans out differently.
This curiosity and excitement can lay the foundation for innovation. Your employees will feel more at ease expressing new thoughts, skills, and solutions when a new approach is presented.
Workshop facilitators are trained to increase engagement and keep team members energized throughout the meeting. They do so by assessing the group’s current engagement level, minimizing distractions, and sticking to the schedule. Many facilitators we know also practice improv, so they have the skills to adapt to unplanned or unforeseen scenarios. For example, the facilitator will recognize a distraction or decrease in group energy levels and pivot the conversation/flow of the meeting when needed to bring it back to focus. This increases productivity and helps contribute to a more effective team dynamic.
Facilitators know a variety of engagement strategies and feel confident in leading a group. Also, workshop facilitators aren’t invested in the content of the meeting, which makes room for more opposing opinions.
When outside facilitators lead, the team will be more comfortable expressing new ideas.
For example, if you are leading a meeting and your employees know that you have a certain point of view on an issue, they may not speak freely. This doesn’t produce innovation or contribution; it reinforces the company’s current structure and beliefs.
3. Increased Positivity
When differing opinions emerge in a meeting, tensions can rise. Two employees may be very passionate about their stance, leaving you to manage the conversation without damaging any relationships. A workshop facilitator can seamlessly manage these potentially-negative interactions by remaining a positive and unbiased presence.
Hiring a workshop facilitator can also increase positivity at meetings by creating sharing and brainstorming opportunities. Workshop facilitators bring a “toolkit” of methodologies and strategies to employ that help teams work well together. They know when to use each method to get the desired results. Some examples include: brainstorming activities that move the group from divergent to convergent thinking to come up with and identify solutions to problems, encouraging active listening to create and inclusive and productive environment, and inspiring and balancing participation among extroverted and introverted personalities, so that all voices are heard and understood by the group. The many techniques of a workshop facilitator can successfully get individuals to open up and express their opinions with ease.
Hiring a Workshop Facilitator
Hiring a workshop facilitator will offer your organization a chance to grow. When your employees are given the chance to contribute, everyone benefits. Hiring a workshop facilitator is recommended for large groups, complicated meetings, project kickoffs or even corporate off-sites.
If you’d like to hire a workshop facilitator for your next meeting or training, consider our services at Voltage Control. We offer a range of facilitation and innovation workshops that can help your company to get to the next level of employee engagement, growth, and innovation.