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Leadership Development

Choose the Right Facilitator for Your Leadership Program


Selecting the Right Facilitator is Crucial to Program Success

You've chosen the leadership program that will be right for your leaders and your organization. Congratulations! Now it's on to the next steps, ensuring that you add to the success of your programs with a great facilitator.

A standout facilitator will provide a compelling experience for learners, making the program even more successful. From our experience, there are several characteristics that effective facilitators typically embody.

Taking Your Program to the Next Level

Leadership programs are at the heart of nurturing current and future leaders, equipping them with the essential skills, insights, and methodologies required to empower successful teams and make strategic decisions. However, the success of the programs greatly depends on the individual in the driver's seat—the facilitator.

Selecting the right facilitator for leadership programs is not a decision to be taken lightly. The impact of a facilitator extends beyond the boundaries of the program itself, influencing the way leaders think, act, and lead. The right facilitator can be the catalyst that transforms promising professionals into visionary leaders. Investing in a facilitator whose skills, style, and values align with the program’s objectives is foundational to the cultivation of effective and inspirational leaders. 

Today's learners are interested in personalized and interactive experiences, and the right facilitator can really take your program to the next level. In one of our open-enrollment programs, we ask the participants to share what they believe makes a great facilitator and once we develop the list, we reiterate that nobody is all of these all of the time. The key is to bring your authentic self to the room and use the skills needed based on the unique needs of the group.

Our participants report the skills and qualities of a great facilitator are:

  • Engaging
  • Dynamic
  • Credible
  • Open to and encouraging of discussion
  • A clear communicator
  • Interactive
  • Respectful
  • Knowledgeable
  • Approachable
  • Helpful
  • Positive
  • Enthusiastic
  • Authentic
  • Structured yet flexible and adaptable
  • Energizing
  • High emotional intelligence
  • An active listener
  • Creates a safe atmosphere for learners

These characteristics set a good facilitator apart, but it’s also important that a facilitator is the right fit for your audience. For some groups, that may include experience with or knowledge of your industry or the functional area of the group, strong executive presence and business acumen – especially when working with senior executives, or deep subject matter expertise in the content area. Beyond knowledge, the essence of leadership development programs lies in driving change in behavior and mindset. Experienced facilitators use proven methodologies to inspire this change, guiding leaders to evolve in their professional and personal capacities.

Consider these questions when selecting a facilitator for your program

By asking the right questions early in the process, you can find a facilitator who not only possesses the necessary expertise but also understands the unique dynamics of your organization, ultimately enhancing the effectiveness of your leadership development program. Before making a decision, consider these fundamental questions to ensure that your chosen facilitator aligns seamlessly with your organization's objectives and values:

  • Would industry knowledge or specific functional expertise be important for your participants?

  • What style would best suit your company and culture?

  • Would a certain facilitation approach be desirable?

  • What background experience might the facilitator need?

  • Are there any values that would resonate with your organization?

When you’ve selected a great facilitator, they are able to truly add to the learner experience with their style, values, and examples. While you evaluate facilitators, make sure to get a feel for their style and approach to help you recognize who may be the best fit for your company and culture. Their facilitation style and backgrounds make each one unique.

Photo by Adrian Trinkaus on Unsplash

 Add to your program's success with a great facilitator

Lauren Parkhill

Lauren Parkhill leads the marketing team in creating creative content that helps organizations develop their leaders and teams.