The linchpin in the icube™ process is the facilitator. My firm belief is that while some people have an innate ability to be great facilitators, facilitation is a skill like any other and can be developed and honed. It’s good, however, to have awareness of one’s own habits and the characteristics of a great facilitator. When it comes to icube™ facilitation, here’s what you need to succeed:
- Ability to guide the conversation without having an end in mind: A facilitator is not a teacher who has subject matter expertise to impart, or a consultant solving a problem. A facilitator’s goal is to ensure that the team converges to the best outcome in a discussion. This means that an ideal facilitator doesn’t have a proverbial horse in the race and is instead focused on the process.
- Ability to encourage participation from all team members: In most teams, some members are outgoing and assertive, while others are not. Neither of these traits, however, has any bearing on the value of their input. Hence it is important that a facilitator be vigilant in ensuring that everyone gets a say to preserve the integrity of the process.
- Ability to manipulate Trello while facilitating discussion: This one is icube™ specific. We use Trello to record important outcomes, decisions, and assign to-dos to team members. While we don’t expect copious notes, the ability to record salient elements of the discussion while facilitating it is an important skill to have.
The one exception is when a team tries to self-facilitate. In that case, the facilitator is part of the team and therefore does have a horse in the race. Even so, he or she must follow the other two guidelines and provide a chance for all voices to be heard; not doing so will result in people checking and quality to suffer.
At PCS Insight we train external facilitators to become well-versed in the process and tools so that they can provide the best value for their clients. Are you interested in becoming a trained facilitator? Find out more here.