6 Ways to be a Horrible Team Facilitator

Congratulations! So you are the Team Facilitator. This is one of the most important roles in a Self Directed Volunteer Team.

Being the Team Facilitator requires you to be positive, energetic, empowering, motivating, communicative, and yet humble.

So what exactly is your role as Team Facilitator?

The Team Facilitator is the volunteer team member who has received Self Directed Volunteer Team training and is responsible for 1) facilitating the team process and 2) coordinating with the Key Staff Person (see more on this later) to monitor outcomes of the team.

So how do you do this job effectively? This article will show you ways to be successful by examining ways to be horrible.

And so without further ado, here are…6 ways to be a horrible Team Facilitator.

1. Dictate to the team what to do and when to do it.
As the team’s ‘leader’ it is tempting to believe that you are responsible for dictating to the team it’s future actions and timeline for delivery. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Fortunately for you this responsibility needs not be shouldered by you alone. Instead, the goal is to have the team work together collaboratively and use input from all members in determining the future direction.

2. Be (or believe yourself to be) the foundation of the team’s success.
The beauty of the team format is that the successes (and challenges) are to be shared by all. As a Team Facilitator you are not personally responsible for the complete success of the team. Instead, your goal is to actively encourage the team towards success. Don’t just be a quarterback, but be the team’s biggest cheerleader as well.

3. Rigidly believe your way to be the best way.
It is so, so frustrating when you know the best solution to a problem, but yet you have to gain the agreement of everyone on your team before you can implement it. Or even worse, if you are outvoted and forced to watch the group make a ‘bad’ decision. Being a Team Facilitator requires you to believe that there are no ‘bad’ decisions, but instead ‘learning experiences.’ Sometimes you will be required to bite your tongue and be open to change. You are surrounded by a team of highly qualified and capable individuals who all have the same goal as you. Be open to the possibility that there may be more than one ‘perfect solution.’

4. Be the boss and assume sole ownership.
SDV Teams are special in that although there are key facilitator roles, there is no specific role responsible for ‘ownership’ of the whole team. Members of the team may have responsibility for their own specific duties and areas, but overall ownership of the team and its efforts is shared by the entire team. Ensure that your mindset is such that you are always thinking of every part of the team as “our” vs. “my.”

6. Be responsible for all dialogue.
Stephen Covey, the best-selling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People wrote, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” As the Team Facilitator the members of your team will be looking to you to be the best listener. They will want to use you as a sounding board, an objective opinion-giver, or even just someone to whom to vent. Yes, you may be the team’s spokesperson, but take care to periodically stop and ask yourself how much you are listening compared to how much you are talking.

So, here we have cleverly disguised six characteristics of an effective Team Facilitator. The Team Facilitator role is both important and rewarding, and we want to do everything possible to ensure that you are successful.

By: Edmina Bradshaw, Principal – edmina@sdvnetwork.com

If you have questions or want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

SDV Network has researched and developed a structured framework for engaging and implementing Self Directed Volunteer Teams (SDV Teams). Let us help you get your teams going!

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