Facilitator Training

Business people step into the role of facilitator in a variety of situations. Because of this, we provide facilitator training options to meet the range of needs our clients face.

The different types of facilitators we work with include:

  • Business Presenters – It’s not unusual for presenters to facilitate group discussions in order to gain alignment during their presentations. For information about this type of presenter training, visit our presentation skills workshop catalog.
  • Trainers – More and more, corporate trainers are moving away from being lecturers and toward being facilitators of learning. Facilitators deliver content just as trainers always have, and this, of course, requires excellent presentation skills. But they do more than present. Facilitators of learning also create a rich learning environment in which information is shared, discussions are moderated, and exercises are set up and debriefed. Because this type of facilitation is a challenge for everyone, we have developed a catalog of facilitator training workshops for trainers. These workshops are for new or “accidental” trainers, experienced trainers, and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) tasked with delivering training.
  • Meeting Leaders – Business people lead meetings on a regular basis. Most of these meetings are low-stakes events designed to get business done, make a decision, or gain alignment. While these meetings may seem mundane, when they aren’t managed well, they waste time and frustrate employees. This can lead to a loss of goodwill among team members and an erosion of trust. To help these meetings be more efficient and effective, we’ve created a catalog of meeting facilitator workshops. (We’ve also developed Ground Rules for Effective Meetings that you may print and distribute to meeting attendees.)
  • High-stakes Meeting Facilitators – When the stakes are high, extra care must be taken to get the right facilitator. During these meetings, a great deal of money may be at stake. Relationships among attendees may be strained. Tempers may flare. The decisions made may have a lasting effect on people throughout the organization. When it’s crucial that the facilitator hold a neutral point of view, a third party should be called in. At other times, an internal person is appropriate, as long as they possess the necessary skills, can earn the trust of the group and are able to set their opinions aside. Our workshop, Advanced Facilitation Skills, will provide the training to develop these skills.

All of Turpin Communication’s facilitator training workshops help participants develop the skills they need to succeed.  For meeting facilitators, the training process focuses on the following.

  • Planning for the discussion
    • Identifying the intended outcome
    • Developing an agenda
    • Framing the meeting to reflect the perspective of meeting attendees
  • Creating the conditions for a fruitful discussion
    • Engaging attendees in the conversation and making them feel safe
    • Setting context and laying the groundwork
    • Following the agenda without stifling the discussion
    • Asking the right questions
    • Encouraging equal participation among attendees
    • Managing conflict if it arises
    • Listening for what’s said and what’s not
    • Observing without judgment
    • Connecting dots, summarizing, knowing when to move on
  • Closing the discussion
    • Helping others reach consensus and make decisions
    • Documenting the discussion and decisions that are made
    • Setting next steps

If we can help you or your team hone their facilitation skills in any of the situations described here, let us know.

Contact us at info@turpincommunication.com or call 773-294-1566

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About the Author: Greg Owen-Boger

Greg Owen-Boger has been with Turpin Communication since 1995, first as a cameraman, then instructor, account manager, and now vice president. Schooled in management and the performing arts, Greg brings a diverse set of skills and experiences to the organization. Greg is one of Turpin’s facilitators and coaches and holds a Bates ExPI™ (Executive Presence Index) coaching certification. When he’s not with clients, he manages the day-to-day operations of the company. Greg is an active member of the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and was the 2015 President of ATD, Chicagoland Chapter. He is a popular speaker, frequent blogger, and the co-author of “The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined,” “The Virtual Orderly Conversation,” and Effective SMEs: A Trainer’s Guide to Helping Subject Matter Experts Facilitate Learning,” all written with Turpin’s founder, Dale Ludwig.

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