RESPONSIBILITIES AND SKILLS
job is multifaceted. He or she is expected to help the team
accomplish their goals by overseeing the group decision-making
process, while at the same time helping the team develop as a
working unit. Basically all the skills and disciplines necessary to
be a good facilitator can be described using the word P.O.I.N.T.:
Plan, Observe, Intervene, Nurture, Teach.
Intervene, Nurture, Teach
Plan the team
agreement: A lot of unnecessary problems teams can experience can be
avoided with good planning. Planning should begin in the first
stages when a team begins meeting. Everyone comes to the team with
different needs, expectations, and ideas about how the team and the
team meetings should be run. The facilitator can help the team by
facilitating a team "agreement." This agreement will be the rules by
which the team will operate. Anything that is important to the
members should be discussed and included in their team agreement. A
typical agreement will include issues such as
• We will start the
meetings on time.
• We will have and follow a timed agenda.
• We will not interrupt one another.
• We will discuss team problems at the meetings only.
• If we cannot gain consensus we will vote and live with it.
• We will carry out assignments on time.
• We will evaluate every meeting using this agreement.
The most important
thing about the team agreement is that it belongs to the team. They
own it! It is not a list of to-do's put together by someone else. It
is the team's creation and something they agree needs to happen for
them to work successfully together. In a sense, it is the team's
first decision together. The facilitator can help the team with this
agreement by leading them through a process of generating a list of
their concerns and then a discussion about each item. If the
members agree that an issue is important, it will be included on
their agreement. The team agreement becomes the team's behavior
goals for each meeting. It helps the team work to become more
efficient with each meeting.
Without a team agreement there are no
agreed-upon rules so in a sense anything goes; and anything probably
will. The team agreement becomes one of the facilitator's most
effective tools for guiding the team back on track when they have
swerved off the course they set for themselves.
Plan the meeting
structure: There are three things that all successful teams do
1. They work well
2. They follow a step-by-step approach to problem-solving (process).
3. They make effective use of their meeting time (discipline).
approach to the team meetings will pay huge dividends. One of the
most important agreements a team will make is how their meetings
will be structured. The facilitator's role is to help the team
choose and follow a good disciplined process. An example of a good
meeting process for teams looks like this:
• Review last
• Review this week's agenda.
• Execute the agenda.
• Summarize the meeting (action register).
• Plan next week's agenda together.
• Evaluate the meeting.
Plan the agenda:
Once the team agrees on the meeting process, the facilitator can
help the team before the meetings by assisting the team in the
planning of their agenda. The better they plan the meeting time, the
better their chance of making that time effective. Here are a few
tips for good meeting planning.
• Solicit items for
the next agenda before ending the current meeting.
• Prioritize the agenda items according to importance.
• Recruit a team member to lead each agenda item.
• Help each agenda item leader plan the methods and tools and time
needed to accomplish the agenda task.
• Ensure that agendas are distributed before meeting.
Working up front to
help the team plan the team agreement, agree on the meeting
structure, and plan each meeting agenda will pave the way for the
team's chances of developing and working successfully. If you want
to get off to a good start, PLAN, PLAN, PLAN.
To Be Continued