Frequently Asked Questions
When to use a facilitator?
Use a facilitator when buy-in is needed to successfully implement a course of action, a solution to a problem is not known, issues need to be uncovered and action taken, a large group has interest in voicing opinions about a topic, a leader or manager wants input, and/or neutrality is important.
How is facilitation different than training?
Facilitation is structured meeting processes to bring about individual knowledge, group thinking and collaboration, where as training is giving information for individual learning.
What are common types of meetings that are facilitated?
Any work session when there are advantages to maximizing participation and displaying the groups’ thinking. For example; strategy sessions, problem solving sessions, decision making sessions, team formation, work process design.
What is the CPF designation?
The Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) designation is a professional credential awarded by the International Association of Facilitators to those that have demonstrated basic facilitator competencies. A CPF believes in the inherent value of the individual and the collective wisdom of the group.
Do leaders relinquish control when a facilitator is used?
The leader/sponsor is always in control of defining the objectives and desired outcomes of the meeting. The facilitator works with the leader/sponsor planning the meeting to ensure clarity of purpose, outcomes, and scope of authority of the group. The leader/sponsor may review and approve the facilitation plan and may participate in the meeting.
Is the facilitator responsible for managing dysfunctional or disruptive meeting behavior?
Addressing dysfunctional or disruptive behavior is one of the greatest concerns of meeting participants. Managing meeting behavior begins at two stages of the meeting process; 1.) During the planning stage the facilitator will try to surface hidden agendas, and past meeting behaviors that may be disruptive and then plan appropriate processes to manage out dysfunction, and 2.) during the meeting start up stage the facilitator will ask the group to agree on a set of ground rules or group norms. These are a set of standards that the group should hold each other and themselves responsible for. The facilitator can surely help enforce the ground rules, but in the end it is the responsibility of each member of the group to hold each other responsible for meeting behavior.
Do facilitators use standard meeting processes or are the meeting processes unique for each client/session?
Peryam and Associates use a standard meeting outline or flow; however, each meeting process within the flow is customized to fit the unique client culture and session objectives. All work at Peryam and Associates uses as a guide the core competencies of Certified Professional Facilitators through the International Association of Facilitators.
Does the facilitator allow for flexibility in the agenda?
At Peryam and Associates we say, the success of a meeting is determined before the session starts. Much thought and preparation goes into planning a facilitated session. On average preparation takes 1 to 1.5 days per session day. With that said if unforeseen or new information surfaces during a session that would suggest a deviation to the stated objectives and agenda, the facilitator at the discretion of the group will either adjust the agenda on the fly or ask to reschedule the meeting. Sometimes issues can be set aside to a parking lot and the meeting continues as planned.
How is information captured and shared in a facilitated session?
Today with electronics making documenting easier than ever there is a tendency to document during a session. Peryam and Associates believes that the main focus of a group session is to capitalize on individual thinking, therefore we still prefer all work during the session to be displayed on flip charts and Post-its so that it can be seen. Documentation generally takes place after the session by capturing all information that is on flipcharts, or during the session by an independent third party. When we facilitate large groups, we sometimes have to distill thinking in smaller break out groups and then display it for the larger group using the assistance of technology. Most of the time when we facilitate via phone or video conference we use electronic flipcharts to aid documenting individual thinking.
Peryam and Associates is on a mission to improve the effectiveness of leaders and teams through the use of facilitation practices. Founder, Susan Peryam is a Certified Professional Facilitator with the International Association of Facilitators. Working with an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator provides assurance that the facilitator has met the internationally recognized standard for effective facilitation of group processes. The facilitator has demonstrated Core Competencies, representing a fundamental set of skills, knowledge, and behaviors that support effective facilitation in a wide variety of contexts. She is one of only 48 IAF CPF assessors world-wide, and one of a handful of assessment process managers.
Peryam and Associates network includes a select cadre of Certified Professional Facilitators (CPF) from around the globe. Our facilitators work in all sectors with businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies – large and small.
In 2017, Peryam and Associates celebrated 10 years providing facilitation services.
We'd be happy to hear from you!
Please contact Peryam Associates to discuss your facilitation needs.