The Quest #149: πŸ€” Is Facilitation Having a “Moment”?

Hello friends,

Greetings from Barcelona. β˜€οΈ

I’m excited to bring you a special edition of the Quest with key takeaways from Session Lab’s brand newΒ 2024 State of Facilitation report.Β πŸŽ‰

​Read the full report.

I am beyond honored to be one of 15 experts asked to contribute to the report.πŸ‘‡

What exactly is facilitation anyway?

Facilitation is one of those jobs like “change management consultant” that’s hard to explain.

In the Power of Facilitation, the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) defines it as a philosophy. A skill. A process. And a profession.

It can be confusing.

And I wonder why people glaze over at dinner parties when they ask me “What do you do?”. πŸ€”

It’s so murky that I stopped using the term facilitation to describe my work. Instead, I say I “lead and design live sessions.” I know, still pretty vague!

Are you a facilitator?

Many people who sign up for my Breakthrough Facilitation training course don’t even call themselves facilitators (even though that’s what they do).

If you:

  • Train
  • Teach
  • Coach
  • Consult
  • Convene
  • Run events
  • Lead teams
  • Run Communities
  • Work with groups in any way

Then YOU are a facilitator!

I take pride in being a facilitator.

Especially when reading IAF’s definition of facilitation:

Making it easy for groups to achieve amazing results.

By that definition, you may be a facilitator without even realizing it.

Facilitation skills are the key to navigating our complex world. And yet they remain surprisingly underrecognized.

Enter the State of Facilitation Report. πŸŽ‰

It’s produced by the amazing team at Session Lab (big props to report editor Deb Rim Moiso πŸ™Œ). It’s an effort to demystify the field, its significance, and its challenges. It’s the most comprehensive report on the facilitation profession.

My 5 Key Takeaways

The report is full of insights that will help you thrive as a facilitator. Here are my top 5 takeaways:

1/ πŸ’ͺMost facilitators learn by doing.

Most facilitators hone their craft through hands-on experience, not formal accreditation. While this approach is tried and true, the absence of formal credentials can make it challenging to showcase your expertise.

2/ πŸ€Facilitation is a trust-based business.

Facilitation is rooted in relationships. Most opportunities arise from referrals and repeat clients, emphasizing the importance of networking. However, this can create barriers for newcomers lacking connections.

3/ β° Facilitated sessions are becoming shorter.

Post-pandemic, session durations have shrunk, now averaging around 2 hours. This shift favors concise, impactful sessions – a format that online facilitation naturally supports.

4/ πŸ’»Online facilitation continues to grow

Despite a return to in-person activities, online facilitation isn’t just surviving; it’s thriving. We’re just beginning to tap into the potential of our virtual work and learning environments.

5/ βš–οΈ Facilitation is a balancing act

You need to know the timeless values and skills, like reading the room and cultivating connection and belonging. You also need to stay up to date in an ever-evolving landscape of digital tools and assistants, including AI. When you strike that balance you will be poised to thrive in the new world of work.

It begs the question:

Is facilitation having a “moment” gaining the recognition it truly deserves?

Or will it forever be a “niche” profession that very few people understand?

What do you think? Join the conversation on LinkedIn.

πŸ’ͺFacilitator finds

The Session Lab report includes a list of facilitators’ favorite resources for continuous learning including books, podcasts, websites, and newsletters. It is an absolute TREASURE TROVE of resources.

I was thrilled that the Quest was included in the Top 5 Most Read Facilitation NewslettersπŸ‘‡

Check out the full list of resources at the end of the report here.

πŸ’Œ Thanks for reading The Quest

I always love hearing your feedback and suggestions. Just hit reply to share your thoughts and ideas.

If you were forwarded this email, you can subscribe to The Quest πŸ‘‰here.​

If you enjoy The Quest, I’d appreciate it if you shared it with anyone you think might like it.

Creatively yours,

Whenever you are ready there are 2 more ways I can help you:

πŸ‘‰Custom coaching & team training. Book a free 15-minute zero-commitment call with me to see how I can support you and your team.

πŸ‘‰5-week Live Online Course. The Breakthrough Facilitation course gives you tools, personalized feedback, and a proven framework for designing and leading high-engagement live sessions. Join the interest list and be the first to get the next cohort dates and discounts.

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