“The future is all about getting to know what people are thinking,” says Kari Österling, Senior Consultant at JG Communication, who led participants in the seminar “Ledarskap och kommunikation i förändringsarbete” (“Leadership and communication in change initiatives”) through an evening that focused on facilitating as a tool to encourage active participation and a willingness to take responsibility.
The seminar participants learned more about the use of facilitating as a tool to make it easier for members of a group to think together, which is a strong contributor to long-term, sustainable results.
Creating active participation through questions that encourage a group to learn and develop
The primary role of a facilitator is to ask questions that act as a driving force for a group’s ability to learn and develop. A facilitative approach that includes asking questions and inviting group members to reflect can lead to improved participation and greater engagement. Intellectual understanding is integrated with actual personal experiences, providing insights and resulting in an increased sense of personal responsibility for decisions made by the group.
Gaining insights through reflective questions
One of the main pitfalls encountered during change processes is the information gap that can result between management staff and employees. If, as a leader, you learn to ask your employees reflective questions, you will gain greater insight into your employees’ perspectives on the change process. It then becomes easier to handle fears and worries, and employees become more active participants in the process.
Facilitating reinforces communicative leadership
The seminar participants also learned that facilitating is a key tool for managers who want their leadership to be communicative. By listening to their employees, managers can make sure their staff members are on board, and they can create a work environment that feels comfortable and transparent. That in itself creates confidence in a manager, and it gives rise to a culture that can handle continuous change.
“Research shows that companies that communicate successfully during change processes and that work on encouraging groups to think together will be the winners in the future,” Österling says. “This is how we create employees and managers who are listened to and who feel a sense of participation, motivation and responsibility for the shared goals.”
The seminar was interactive, and the participants had the opportunity to experience the use of facilitating techniques, as well as the chance to influence the agenda for the evening. Seminar participants included information officers working with change processes in their organizations – both government agencies and private companies. At the end of the seminar, several participants said they planned to use more facilitative methods in their work.
If you are interested in facilitating or other kinds of training, contact Rachel Thölix, Senior Communication Trainer at JG Communication.