Employing a Facilitator — Empowering Your Business

Hiring a facilitator – or consultant or strategist or planner – can be a daunting experience.

First, you have to know what want to accomplish.  Do you believe your business is stagnant? Do you want to move in a different direction? Are your employees not performing at a level to meet the goals of the company?  Do you have clear and communicable goals?

Second, are you willing to put forth the effort of finding/hiring the person best suited for your company? Where will you find that person? What traits are important in a facilitator?

And last, are you willing to follow the plan developed with the facilitator?  If this is just another item to mark off your list, or you are hoping to go through the motions but continue on your current path, save your money and time.  If, however, you are willing to put forth the effort in not only hiring the best person for the job but also in implementing the plan, then you will find your effort rewarded.

The next step is finding the best facilitator for your company.  The top five traits you should look for:

• Trust – The consultant/facilitator will need to not only be trustworthy (as they will have access to your most sensitive data) but also be able to gain the trust of all involved in the process.  Everyone will need to be comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas, thereby contributing to the process of growth/change.

• Innovative thinker – You are not seeking someone to confirm your ideas/plans. You are seeking someone that will help you and your team to develop fresh ideas, not just copy what others have done somewhere else.  A thinking strategist will help you in making intentional change.

• Leads – A facilitator will lead your group—not dominate with their way of thinking.  They will help you answer the questions on how to move strategically into the future; they will listen to all ideas and motivate your team to develop the plan that meets your goals.

• Imparts Enthusiasm –  Once a plan has been developed, it must be embraced by the team for it to be successfully implemented.  This is where a facilitator will motivate the team to develop an implementation and accountability strategy.

 Empowers the Team –A good facilitator understands that all the credit for the success of a project starts and ends with the participants.  They will be the ones that will take ownership of the plan for a successful implementation.

Ask questions of your candidates; seek advice from other firms that have employed facilitators; research firms.  Inquire as to their thinking framework or structure.  You should be able to identify those that draw out creative, client-centered solutions and eliminate those you steadfastly remain attached to programs that stifles innovation.

Taking the step to brining in a facilitator is the next step in developing collaborative solutions for intentional change.

Until next time,

Penny M. Crow

CEO/Chief Thinking Strategist