We’ve just wrapped up another workshop which was spread over two days. Whilst the group was boutique in size, the content, energy and outcome was awesome.

Needless to say, the time spent on managing the production was the greatest component as our experience dictates the equation to achieve a smooth executed offering. This is often forgotten but we share the activity - one of the many gains in the choice of sharing facilitation.

People often ask why we have the expense of two facilitators and we sometimes question the shared profit - however the benefits to both parties, facilitators and the participants outweigh the dollar signs!

We’ve learnt:

To work to our strengths – selecting the subjects which match our style, experience and interest

To work the room – whilst one is engaging the participants the other is identifying who’s disengaged and rejigging the activities and running sheet to accommodate

To be two steps ahead – having sessions organised to jump to if the group need a different pace or paradigm

You can be totally present - in the dialogue, diagrams and delivery knowing your partner is managing everything else

To be different - to challenge our own norms and apply new approaches which your partner can easily feedback (thumbs up or down) rather than waiting on the written feedback, and

Not everyone loves you - the group appreciates the dynamic difference of drive and delivery - having a choice in facilitator connection enhances the engagement opportunities.

If the purpose of facilitating is to involve the audience, to make them think and contribute to the group for a common purpose then I believe the choice of co-facilitation is a good decision.  

As I quickly type these thoughts I’m also preparing to facilitate the final day of a leadership program this week – I’ll be on my own with 20 participants, two guest speakers and loads of activities.

Easy Peasy?  

Leaders Facilitate Idea Generation

Leaders facilitate idea generation

It’s hard to imagine life without being attached to a mobile device. We've just celebrated 40 years of the mobile phone being used for the first time – with many prototypes being shelved! Linus Pauling said “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” And it was one of these ideas which stimulated the many designs of the mobile phone.

Our role and goal in life, in particular if we’re a leader is to stimulate, foster and welcome lots of ideas. Facilitating conversations, meetings and conferences which encourage the light bulbs to go on, is a healthy and exciting environment to be involved and belong to.

To create an idea generation environment, then reflect on what you, as a Leader does and doesn't do to stimulate or deflate these ideas. Consider:

      -What do you call your meetings and where are they held?
      -Who does the talking and listening when ideas are discussed?
      -What equipment and technology do you provide to people to be creative?
      -How do you capture ideas?

      Here’s an idea, have an ‘Ideas Day’ and then discuss how to keep the Ideas momentum.

      Have a Fabulous Friday.


      One of my activities today is preparing for a lunch which I am facilitating this Friday. Its focus is to highlight and discuss the benefits of leading healthy practices in the workplace. A couple of notable speakers will lead the discussion with my role and goal is to keep the luncheon lively!

      Interestingly enough, I’m working on a workbook for a Facilitation program which I offer – so I have ‘facilitation’ at the forefront of my brain. I’m deliberating on my approach; which techniques and tools to utilise to support the guests in achieving their interest and involvement at the lunch.

      Facilitation is a strength which all leaders and SMEs can continue to develop. From my experience some folk have a good flair however the majority have to work at it to gain positive feedback. Done right, facilitating a conversation can save time, make money by generating amazing ideas, plans and strategies; build relationships and help folk discover their passionate genes!

      Whether you’re facilitating a group of 30 or three, these tips make meetings productive:

      • Consider the questions you want to ask and ask for questions your group want answered. 
      • Delegate roles to ensure the outspoken are kept busy and the quieter ones have the opportunity to contribute.
      • Capture information visually and share it electronically immediately.

      I will add a few more practises and tips to my site over the next few days. Maybe you have your own tips you’d like to share – these are generally the best: ‘tried & tested’!