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Expert Group Facilitator: Managing Group Dynamics

A recent survey of major businesses by Microsoft reported that respondents spent 5.6 hours each week in meetings, and 71 percent thought that those meetings “aren’t productive.”

In today’s highly matrixed and networked organizations, teams are helping to gain huge benefits in faster development, higher quality, creative innovation, reduced product cost, increased customer satisfaction, increased employee commitment, and overall improved communication and collaboration.  At the same time the costs of poorly managed team meetings and work sessions can erase these gains, and can increase frustration and alienation.  Expert facilitation makes all the difference.

A group facilitator, by definition, “makes things easier” for the team members by setting up and managing the process so that team members can focus on the problem to be solved, the system to be developed, the strategy to be planned.

A skilled, experienced cadre of trained group facilitators helps your organization achieve important benefits:

  • more accomplished in less meeting time, resulting in  significant savings
  • projects brought to successful conclusion with more economical use of resources
  • less rework
  • faster decision making as a result of clearly defined scope, roles, responsibilities
  • creative solutions to problems as a result of optimization of team members’ expertise and fresh ideas
  • greater satisfaction and commitment of group participants as a result of real engagement and inclusion
  • (as a side benefit) enhanced leadership skills on the part of the facilitators as a result of their varied experiences in facilitating teams
  • •meetings are seen as worthwhile and productive, and not avoided as a waste of time

Expert Group Facilitator Training highlights:

  • How to develop a working agreement between the facilitator and the group
  • How to build the framework for the team’s work: roles and responsibilities, group norms, group operating procedures
  • How to manage the group dynamics: participation without dominating, listening, supporting
  • How to help teams navigate the dialogue and debate, inquiry and advocacy
  • How to use group conflict creatively and constructively
  • How to help groups go beyond compromise to truly collaborative solutions
  • Tools and techniques for generating and organizing ideas
  • Tools and techniques for identifying and evaluating options
  • Tools and techniques for consensus decision making
  • Tools and techniques for turning decisions into action
  • How to ensure group accountabilities: responsibilities and action items are clearly assigned and followed up
  • How to help groups assess their work and their work style

Expert Group Facilitator Methodology

Participants in Expert Group Facilitator spend most of their workshop time in practices with coaching and feedback in P2P Videolabs – AlexanderHancock’s trademarked process for rapid development of business communication skills. They bring their own real situations to use in the practice sessions.

Expert Group Facilitator Customized Solutions

To ensure that training is not just an “event,” but instead produces enduring results, we customize Expert Group Facilitator to fit your unique situation, business strategy, culture, and people.  After discussion with you and other experts within your organization, we select the emphasis, specific skills to be developed, key learning points, exercises, and case studies for practice to create a solution tailored just for you.

Expert Group Facilitator Applications

The following are some of the ways our clients have used custom versions of Expert Group Facilitator:

  • To equip design engineers to lead teams designing the next generation of products
  • To build the skills of program managers and project managers who are responsible for integrating work across multiple disciplines
  • To prepare systems engineers to conduct more efficient systems development projects using the Joint Application Development (JAD) process
  • To equip HR professionals to facilitate management team planning retreats
  • To build the skills of leaders of cross-functional teams enterprise-wide
  • To develop new ideas to cut waste and improve productivity

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