As a facilitator you are the DJ

There is something magic with a crowd of people. No crowd is the same. No crowd possess the same energy, the same abilities or the same vibe. In my 20:ies I worked at childrencamps during the summer and despite the very same setup, the same staff, the same rules, the same environment, each group of children arriving was completely different and so was the dynamics.

When a crowd of people is formed and we manage to get people together there is energy glowing and growing in the spaces in between. The energy can be positive and contribute to improvement or it may be negative and cause a storm unless it is communicated and handled.

The beauty of a brilliant team is hard to describe, but I do hope you had the pleasure to experience this state of being with others. The energy contributes to inspire, motivate and empower the crowd to move, to dare to try out new forms of working, such as go from silo to agile or just cope with resistance to change. When you do succeed you have a team of people able to “dance” with a pulse, in synk and it is a beautiful experience. But hey, this sounds pretty fluffy if you wear a tie.

For an organisation or company this would translate into creating valuable relationships between people so they are able to communicate, collaborate and create solutions and move towards a common goal and vision.

Today we speak a lot about how the company culture is not only important but fundamental for a companies success. Every organisation need the ability to transform and become a digital flexible agile organisation able to adapt to constant change and complexity. And people is a companies asset to do so.

But often people are still shuffled into a room to deal with challenges or they join a project with people they never met. (Or perhaps they are even working alone on missions that require multiple input.) The question we do not always ask our selfs is, how do you to develop a group of diverse people into a high performing team?

As a facilitator you are the DJ sensing the needs of the people in the group, understanding where they are at and where to go. Your job is to set the right music and lightning for this particular stage.

Utterly the first step is all about building trust and answer the question, why am I here? Who are you I am with? What are we going to do? As a facilitator you can use some tricks to speed up this process. It can be about making sure everyone is heard and seen. That negative judgement of ideas and opinon is taken away from the agenda or you can encourage people to dive into their own life stories and share experiences to understand each other better.

But for sure, you will as a leader and team need to commit to each other. You will need to invest time getting to know each other. Your team will need to practice collaboration and feedback skills. You will need to manage bumpy days with the confidence that having different opinions can be for the good as long as person is divided from behaviour and any misunderstanding is taken cared of to be resolved.

To walk this extra mile and invest in the team will let you build strong and trustful relationships. It will fuel the energy between people you need to become an effective team with aligned focus towards a shared goal and vision. You will proactive make sure not to get stuck in communication when the project is to be developed and delivered. You will be stronger and faster, together. And if you fall during the dance, someone will be there instantly helping you to stand up again.

www.ellenpettersson.se

Foto: Drew Grayham