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Selecting a Facilitator? Choose the Right One for Your Leadership Program


Selecting the right facilitator is crucial to program success

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

Picking the facilitator for your leadership program is an important choice. You want to make sure you are comfortable with who you're working with and be certain they are the right match for your organization, program, and learners. Since today's learners are more interested in experiences for learning, the right facilitator can really take your program to the next level. 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. Of course, each person brings his or her own unique strengths and style too.

In one of our facilitator training workshops, 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.

Look for a facilitator who brings skills and qualities such as:

  • 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

Those 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. 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. It is his or her values, facilitation style, and backgrounds that make each one unique – and that’s how you’ll know when you have selected the best one for your program.

 Add to your program's success with a great facilitator

Andrea Davis

Andrea Davis , Partner and Cofounder of FlashPoint, is passionate about all things leadership. You'll find her wearing many hats—from managing business development and operations to creating solutions for clients.