How can you improve as a facilitative leader? Start with these fundamentals:
- Use active listening skills, including paraphrasing, summarizing, reflecting, and questioning.
- Encourage and generate participative discussion in groups.
- Stimulate creative thinking through brainstorming/other idea-generation processes.
- Stimulate strategic consideration of alternatives and informed decision-making of appropriate choices.
- Manage contrasting perspectives that might result in conflict among members of a group.
- Intervene with individuals and groups without taking total control of the situation.
- Design meeting processes to accomplish a wide range of goals and objectives.
- Draw out others' opinions in an objective and nonjudgmental manner.
- Support teams in various stages of group development.
- Help individuals and groups reflect on their experiences and capture relevant learning.
- Lead/design inclusive group processes that honor different learning styles.
- Help shape more powerful and strategic questions for exploration.
(Note: For more information about facilitative leadership, please read Jeffrey Cufaude's "The bar leader as facilitator," also in this issue.)