The 5 P’s of Facilitation
Facilitation is defined as ‘ to make easy’ but is the role of a facilitator easy? I think not. Skilled, rewarding and fulfilling absolutely yes! Easy ? A resounding no!
However, if the facilitation process helps the group or team to achieve more clarity or come up with tangible results – it can be absolute bliss.
So what can make facilitation more effective? Making sure that everything is put down to preparation before, during and following the facilitated session.
These 5 P’s of Facilitation that can help:
(1) Purpose: What is the purpose of the facilitation? Why is time being set aside for this? What is the nature of investment people are making?
(2) Product: What outputs, outcomes or deliverables do ‘we’ want to create? What will be the evidence that time, energy, money spent has been worthwhile and added value to the organisation, project or group?
(3) Participants: Who should participate? Are the right people in the room? This is really important in order to have appropriate outcomes. Note anything you know which might affect the process or outcome.
(4) Probable issues: What key issues are likely to arise? It is not possible to pinpoint all the issues that may come out from the time together. Preparing before the session by talking to the participants before the facilitated session or sending out a pre-session questionnaire may help to spot some issues, concerns, options or challenges that may need to be explored further.
(5) Process: What process should we follow? The ‘how’ of the time together is really important. Process is almost everything. Using the methodology which matches what is being asked for is so crucial. This will depend on the expectations of participants, whether the facilitated session is part of a broader intervention, how much time is available and so on.