Sometimes we are surprised at the lack of importance clients place on the most crucial aspect of a teambuilding event – the facilitator leading the activity. We spend a lot of time responding to questions about almost everything else about a session apart from how it is led. Yet, how a session is delivered to the participants by the facilitator determines whether it will be a great success or not.
What evidence have I for this? My own eyes! Over the years of working with hundreds of companies worldwide, I have had the opportunity to observe a huge number of internal and external teambuilding sessions.
At one extreme, I have watched expert facilitators keep audiences totally in rapture with nothing but a bare room and their voice. At the other end of the spectrum, I have watched totally disinterested participants in a multi-activity day that incorporated helicopters and ex-SAS interrogators!
The facilitator has a critical role to play in many different aspects of a session. The facilitator has the responsibility to create the atmosphere needed and get the initial ‘buy in’ from participants. Then, they need to inspire participants to lead themselves, out of their comfort zones. They also need to entertain. Teambuilding activities must be entertaining and fun to disarm, and gain the trust of, a group. Our trademark is having every group we work with in fits of laughter in between learning the job in hand, which ultimately creates stronger bonds between individuals.
The facilitator’s passion, interpersonal skills and a sense of fun are essential to successfully take groups through the journey towards their final transformation by the end of the session.
Depending on the outcomes required by each client, a facilitator should also have the experience of making a session relevant to the client’s business and theme of the day, for example by being able to demonstrate relevant teamwork analogies or behaviours.
Because we specialise in activities that often involve music, movement and the arts, our facilitators also have to be expert in these areas too. The world is full of musicians, dancers and other artists, but there is a gulf between being a talented performer and then being able to galvanise, enthuse and stimulate participants, teach effectively and complete the task.
It is a challenging job. This is why I am so proud of all our facilitators. They each bring their unique areas of expertise and personalities to everything they do. Just for a second, imagine yourself walking into a conference room after lunch, standing in front of a hundred staring strangers to explain that they are to quickly become a group of dancing zombies in our Thriller event, a tribe of warriors in our Haka activity or perhaps an African drumming orchestra!
You must have lots of confidence, a sympathetic awareness of how to manage people and an event format that works…every time.
Next time you a thinking of a teambuilding or conference activity, please ask about the experience and credibility of the facilitator. Have a telephone conversation with them to answer any of your questions or even, as we offer, meet them beforehand. The entire success of your event will ultimately rest with them.
For more information about our team events, please contact us.
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