“In the hands of a competent facilitator, a well-designed process sets the stage and supports the group as it explores options, navigates conflict and reaches decisions.” – Beatrice Briggs
A productive use of time symbolizes one of the hallmarks of modern civilization. Given this context, meetings would be the foremost instance wherein, groups of individuals can use their time effectively to discuss, ideate, and negotiate. Facilitation can improve the functionality of meetings, because “a skilled facilitator can lead a meeting, and help focus the energy and thoughts of various members on the tasks at hand.” The members may include teams of individuals, stakeholders, consultants, participants, observers, and collaborators.
- Why Facilitation?
Hence, the facilitation process comprises a key aspect of the idea of convening, conducting, and concluding meetings. Such processes are typically a sequence of stages – as also a laboratory of ideas and intellectual exertion that can enable factors, such as efficiencies and productivity inside the dynamics that animate meetings and workshops. Organizations, on their part, can explore new, more evolved versions of the facilitation process in a bid to explore diverse platforms. In addition, planners of meetings and facilitators alike can utilize agency of flowcharts to ideate on, and develop the motifs and mechanics and sub-processes that underlie various editions of the facilitation process.
- Examining a Triad
Critical thinking, discussion, and co-operation may represent key aspects of a modern facilitation process. We may therefore, position these attributes centrally within flowchart diagrams. Subsequently the design of said process may take shape by integrating these attributes. In terms of design, creating clusters of sub-stages around thinking, discussion and co-operation would help to explain further. This technique helps spotlight the mechanics of process, and the contribution of each element to process output. The flowchart thus is a visual-analytical device, one that empowers designers to create/implement a sharp focus on etching competent facilitation process.
- Focusing on Agendas
A meeting agenda, when expertly crafted, can guide and shape the contours of a successful facilitation process. The planners of meetings can incorporate an agenda as a roadmap – designed as nested structure within the structure of flow diagrams. An agenda may include the salient points to be discussed, notes on the flavor of discussions, emerging opinions and points of view, arenas of convergence and divergence among attendees, etc. Certain gaps may be engineered into the agenda; these spaces allow for last-minute inclusions recommended by participants prior to the event. Hence, facilitators and planners must devise the agenda carefully, in a bid to include every relevant aspect and preserve the momentum of an ongoing facilitation process.
- Debate as Analysis
Facilitators may encourage debate and varied points of view as part of efforts to improve meeting outcomes. Such a stance remains instrumental in the creation of a dynamic facilitation process; hence, they may review the key points slated for uptake in meetings. Subsequently, facilitators may suggest lines of discussion and moderate the proceedings in tune with relevant best practices. The entirety of this technique may find expression inside flow diagrams; additionally, special editions of illustrations could portray sites of intervention developed for use by rapporteurs and facilitators – a bona fide example of facilitation as an enabler of debate and discussion.
- Diverse Set of Activities
Group activities may comprise an important segment of an ongoing facilitation process in modern times. These activities, curated to suit the context of meetings, may enable a group of meeting attendees to attain greater coherence in terms of outcomes. Designers of flowchart may build a series of group activities inside diagrams. These activities empower attendees to retain focus on the meeting agenda, attain progress towards a possible consensus, remain civil in their behavior, and ensure successful outcomes at the conclusion of meetings. Flowcharts can help etch timelines that animate group activities, help facilitators describe the nature of group activity, and elevate the quality of performance that underpins group dynamics.
- The Matter of Leadership
Senior leaders of an organization may operate facilitation process in the interests of steering proceedings, bearing in mind various aspects underlined by efficient use of resources and contextual relevance. This process would be a training method, one that instils organizational values in the minds of meeting attendees. Senior leaders may also elect to enrich facilitation process by seeding insights into the proceedings of sessions and meetings. This technique allows a series of thoughts, ideas, and the purely experimental to converge into formal discussions, thereby sparking new forms of ideation and solutions to emerge from proceedings of meetings. A flowchart-based illustration can assist in the conception of such dynamics, generate synergies, and boost the expansion and future development of associated practices.
- De-constructing Complexity
Complex situations and scenarios may undergo analysis/discussion prior to attendees arriving at different levels of definition/resolution, as part of meetings mediated by the facilitation process. This aspect of facilitation could find detailed description within structured visual spaces. Flowcharts could thus be considered as analytical mechanisms that expand our ability to troubleshoot, reinforce certain aspects of the facilitation construct, re-visit certain assumptions on the idea of facilitation, and enable a sharp focus on outcomes. Facilitators could also utilize spatial techniques to outline a granular analysis of grades of complexity, demonstrate the methods of conducting analysis, and enumerate the layers of an operational analysis – thus promoting comprehension at various levels. Such information could form the basis of meetings convened at future dates.
- Focus on Innovation
One key aspect of the facilitation process resides in processing ideas to power innovation. In tune with this, facilitators may source thoughts/ideas/suggestions from attendees in meetings and workshops, as part of efforts to locate components/outlines of possible solutions. This would be a creative endeavor – one that enables facilitators to harvest gains on behalf of sponsors and organizations. Hence, facilitators may utilize the proceedings of meetings to select and process ideas, and embellish these with knowledge, theory, and insights to spark innovation. In addition, the facilitation process may include the formation of working groups among attendees, with a view to drive innovation. We note the outlines of such technique may take shape inside flowcharts, thus validating the choice to deploy such constructs.
- In Conclusion
These ruminations allow us to explore the many possibilities that may arise when we take an expansive view of a modern facilitation process or system. Such process would be a sophisticated system of harnessing human energies – to help develop the concept to include the idea of training human minds and garnering sophistication in thought processes. The flowchart can perform as a multi-hued enabler in these missions, helping facilitators to attain multiple objectives from meetings and workshops. These two-dimensional devices also encourage participation and experimentation at many levels, thus uplifting the quality of engagement between facilitators and participants. Iterations of this device can also empower the re-invention of conventions that underlie meetings, group assemblies, and workshops.
Further, the facilitation process offers significant new opportunities for organizations that wish to sharpen their competitive edge. Such functionality, when transmitted to sets of competent personnel, enable contemporary workforces to uplift their levels of performance beyond the mundane. Expert facilitators can leverage their skills to drive sensitization programs, empower the average employee, and demonstrate the utility of expert guidance in a variety of contexts. The connected diagram serves as an able ally in such endeavors, thus allowing civilization to progress to higher levels of being and existence.