I’ve been in business for 30+ years. After awhile, I may take for granted that everyone knows what FoCuSeD™ facilitation is about and why it’s important. In this issue, I define FoCuSeD™ and why you don’t want to be un-FoCuSeD.
My facilitation technique journey began in 1985 with an article I wrote for Computerworld – creating FAST. Since then, I’ve revolutionized my facilitation technique creating a unique concept – Holistic Facilitation – FoCuSeD™. Then, my focus was relative to IT – Information Technology. Today, I’ve broadened my focus to people and process skills that contribute to the overall well being of any organization. I’ve married the concepts of the Process-Consulting style with those of the Relationship-Developing style to create a balance allowing people to use facilitation skills in a wide variety of situations. FoCuSeD™, my brand of facilitation, is comprehensive and provides a complete set of people and process skills, knowledge, and practices that you are able to use immediately upon completion.
Over the years, companies have flattened their organizational structure and moved into more of a consensus-building culture. For this to work (and it does work), companies need effective facilitation skills in their ranks. Having people well trained in facilitation skills is the most cost-effective way to leverage the knowledge and skills of the people resources in any organization. It is a foundational skill for Knowledge Management.
How do I, Gary Rush, IAF CPF Train?
People ask me why I conduct a weeklong class. There are other places to go get train in less time.
Why the additional time? I teach my class in 3 segments:
- People Skills
- Process Skills
Each segment is important and requires hours of effort by the student.
This segment is the foundation necessary for the facilitator to lead a group of people. I cover basic facilitation skills and provide the students with very specific tools. I discuss how groups evolve and “how to” manage group dynamics and conflict.
This segment focuses on “how to” develop an agenda (the method is the same for any agenda). After students understand the concepts, I then describe a variety of “cookbook” agendas. I finish with discussions of documentation, preparation, project planning, logistics, risk analysis, etc.
Facilitation is best learned through practice. Each student practices both people and process skills through numerous exercises, making them ready to facilitate upon completion.
Each student receives a 600+ page PDF version of the FoCuSeD™ Facilitator Guide. It covers everything a facilitator needs to facilitate effective workshops.
All of this takes time and practice to learn. The time and money spent on the class is worth it – payback comes with the first workshop or meeting they lead. Note: I use the words as synonyms; facilitation skills help run better meetings and facilitate better workshops.
What makes FoCuSeD™ facilitation training different? It:
- Covers all of business.
- Teaches you the people and process concepts that must be holistically planned to achieve useful solutions.
- Makes you practice – a lot, so that you can use the skills learned immediately upon completion.
- Gives you a comprehensive reference manual that shares what I’ve learned over 30+ years.
- Covers the IAF Core Facilitator Competencies – enabling those of you who wish to pursue your IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator (CPF) designation.
The major difference that I see is philosophy. I believe that people feel better when they learn – they gain confidence and self worth. I challenge students – people do great work when given the challenge and the opportunity.
Who to train?
Organizations struggle with whom to train. I tell organizations that facilitation skills’ training is highly effective in developing capable servant leaders. We’ve been in economic turmoil over the past years. Organizations need to do more with less. Providing organizations with effective facilitation skills is the most cost-effective way to leverage their people resources.
Why should YOU be trained?
Facilitation skills are THE skill set needed in the 21st Century. Business trends demand facilitation skills to be successful. This means that you, the trained facilitator, become more of a required and desirable resource for your organization. You owe it to yourself to develop a set of facilitation skills that prepares you for any future change – facilitation skills are indispensable to you both in business and in life.
Helping people come together to do good work is what facilitation is about.