A team facilitator is a person, usually outside of the team, who assists with team processes and development. Ingrid Bens describes
team facilitation as a way of providing leadership without taking the reins, a way of getting others to assume responsibility and take the lead.
The team facilitator contributes structure and process to group interactions so that it can function effectively and make high-quality decisions.
- Coaches the team leader and team members
- Assists the team with meeting management
- Assists with the problem solving process
- Assists with team dynamics such as conflict resolution and decision-making.
Some organizations have formalized the role of full-time facilitator, whereas others have developed facilitation skills as part of one's other formal duties. For example, a person's full-time responsibility and formal position within the company may be an engineer, but this person may be called upon to facilitate a team when the need arises. The value of developing one's facilitation skills is that they are useful in any group or meeting situation.
Caution: The facilitator walks a fine line between helping the team and taking over. First and foremost in the facilitator's mind should be how to develop the team so that it can some day become independent of outside facilitation help.
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