This past week I facilitated a project management program for a group of 10 professionals from a wide variety of organisations. The focus of the course was applied project management skills for professional planners, however some of the discussion in the morning was focused on their (the participants) experiences in previous classes; specifically, those classes that did not do a thorough job in covering the stated objectives of the course due to what they perceived as poor facilitation technique by the facilitator, or poor course design.
My response to this question is always the same when it comes up, and usually stated using a simple analogy…
You can hire the greatest architect in the world to design your home, but if the engineers and construction crew are sub-par, don’t be surprised when the basement floods.
Here is the truth. Not everyone has the technical ability, creativity and imagination to create an effective whiteboard animation. Just because someone’s title is “facilitator” does not necessarily mean they are comfortable standing in front of a room full of executives who were “forced” to take a customer service course. A person can call themselves an instructional designer, but does that always mean they have above average writing skills? How these folks got the roles they are in is a discussion for another day, but my point is this. When you spend a considerable amount of time, energy and resources creating a needs analysis, make damn sure you have the right people, the professionals needed to execute your vision.
Having said that, I can say with 100% certainty and confidence we have the right people at Pathways Training & eLearning, and we re always ready and available to step in and create ab engaging and well thought out solution for your training needs.
In continuing with the theme mentioned above, provided below are some of the skills to look for in a professional facilitator. Next week I will expand on this topic by providing addition detail for a few of these skills from the list that I feel are the “core” of a professional facilitator.
A professional Facilitator…
Is prepared for the course and has planned for all potential roadblocks
Never loses sight as to what is best for he student/participant
Knows who is in the room and acts accordingly
Ensures an inclusive environment is maintained always
Gives clear instructions and sets realistic guidelines
Possesses exceptional communication skills including the ability to listen as well as they speak.
Can manage and follow the course agenda regardless of the occasional “hiccup”
A master at reading body language and gauging the “energy level” of their participants
Is very adaptable and able to change course at a moment’s notice
To learn more about finding the right people for your training and eLearning needs, please visit us on our website at http://www.pathwaystrainingandelearning.ca/
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