Team building activities can be fun and rewarding at the same time and it can be done easily if conducted by an effective team building facilitator. It can resolve conflicts, build stronger relationships amongst the participants, and open up sharing of ideas. That is if your corporate events are spearheaded by a good team building facilitator. But how do you know if the person handling your activity is a productive one? Here are some determining factors that can differentiate a bad team building facilitator from a good one, and a good facilitator from an effective one.
Effective Team Building Facilitator Attributes:
1. An Effective Team Building Facilitator is fully prepared. Team building facilitators need to be prepared for the session they are to lead. It is their job to make sure that there is a process on how they are going to achieve the event’s objectives. It would be helpful if there is a structure or a general direction where everyone is headed to. Meaning, he has a plan that must be followed for the entirety of the day. He also has a back-up plan—plan B, C, and so on—just in case the previous plans will not turn out well.
2. An effective facilitator makes an effort to know the people who are in the room. A facilitator doesn’t walk into a room with no idea who he would be facing and interacting with. Even just a slight idea would be helpful. Are these people workmates? Have they known each other for a long time? With this, he will be able to create a good plan for a positive team building outcome.
3. An effective facilitator knows how to create a friendly environment. Think of facilitators as teachers and the participants as the students who are coming into class as strangers. It is the teacher’s responsibility to make sure that his students are acquainted with one another and that they are truly comfortable with each other. When one is in an atmosphere where he does not feel awkward, threatened, judged, or different, he is able to function more productively. It works the same in a corporate team building event, when people are comfortable with the people they are working with, they are more free to move about and express themselves.
4. An effective team building facilitator promotes inclusivity. He doesn’t odd one out just because he’s quiet or he’s of a different nationality. He makes sure that every participant actually participates and joins the fun. Here’s a tip. Arrange the group in such a manner that they are in eye level with each other or in a circle with no one’s back is facing anyone. With this style, everyone feels that they are of equal value with everyone else in the room. No admins, no seniors, no outcasts—just one whole group aiming for a common goal.
5. An effective facilitator sets the guidelines. An effective facilitator sets specific guidelines that everyone is supposed to follow. The time wherein everyone takes a break should be clear to all. In order to focus more on the activities, mobile devices should be kept away. Rules like these help create smooth flowing corporate events.
6. An effective facilitator knows how to keep the energy high. You’d know if the group is tired, sleepy, or hungry. An effective facilitator knows how to feel the crowd and remove the negative air in the area. He knows how to keep the group alive and kicking. He himself should also be energetic enough and is able to influence the energy of the group. No work can be done when the people doing it are tired or sleepy. A little mood booster can go a really long way.
To be an effective team building facilitator, it takes lot of practice and experience. It may not be done perfectly the first time, or even the second time, but one more trait he must possess is patience. A thing or two may not go as planned, but he must be determined to keep on going until he becomes great with his craft.
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