004 : Facilitation for Learning

Facilitation for learning is important and takes skill to master.

Facilitation for learning is important and takes skill to master. Watch out for it in your project facilitators and see how well they create project environments that build capability.

Most projects take days and weeks. Some, unfortunately drag on for months. The same team of people often meeting time and again for an update so they can arrive at a consensus and make decisions. If you’ve got one of these projects, how much time do your project facilitators take up in the recap and project update? Could it be executed with a pre-read first or better still, a quick piece to camera shared online? That way, when you’ve all flown in from around the world and gather in a room, you can get on with the task at hand rather than being told stuff you may already know.

Good things to look out for are: lots of questions to named individuals in the team asking for information about the project to be shared. Plenty of requests for people in the team to give feedback as advice or instruction to the other participants rather than just observations. It’s all in context of course, but people sitting still reading printouts isn’t a good use of cognitive potential. Arriving at the project update having been pre-called to prep a small piece of content to share with the others adds masses of value. In short, keep the content on them and not you.

The more the team are doing in small chunks, the better. More learning is going on. A bit like everyone arriving with a puzzle piece to assemble as a whole. If your facilitator has worked long into the night and created all the pieces and the box and the picture on the front, then what has your project team really done and have they really learned anything?