Strategy Facilitator: Align Organizational Thinking

Organizations hold meetings for a number of different reasons. Whether the organization is looking to tackle a major problem or wishes to focus on new objectives, meetings are a great way to get everyone within the organization on the same page. Yet businesses might find that if the meeting is not lead effectively, it will be inefficient and ultimately ineffective. While companies might be tempted to put an organizational leader in charge of a gathering, it is better if they hire a facilitation expert. Depending on the company’s need, experts can be found that specialize in a number of areas, like a teambuilding facilitator or a strategy facilitator.

What do these experts offer?

Facilitation experts provide support before and during the meeting.

How do they prepare before meetings?

Prior to the meeting, these professionals will research the company and the problems it hopes to address by interviewing the organization’s leaders. When a teambuilding facilitator is brought in, he or she might sit down with members of the group individually to try to learn if personality conflicts or biases are holding back productivity. Similarly, a strategy facilitator could meet with organizational leaders to understand the current strategy and how it aligns with the company’s goals. Using the information collected from interviews and independent research, the professional will prepare a comprehensive report that participants will receive before the day of the discussion. With this information, everyone will be on the same page and the facilitator will not have to worry about working with a group in which nobody can see the big picture.

What is their role during the meetings?

These professionals are primarily in charge of leading the discussion. The big reason that internal employees should not handle this task is because they might bring their own biases into the room. Internal employees might allow certain individuals to dominate the conversation and might even put down or reject certain ideas before others have had a chance to respond to them. Consequently, potential solutions are never considered and individuals will even become reluctant to speak up. The facilitator will use a previously prepared agenda to make sure that certain topics or questions are covered, and will direct the discussion back on-topic if the group goes off on a tangent.

The above-mentioned are general duties covered as some facilitators will handle specific tasks, depending on the type of meeting. A strategy facilitator will have to make sure that a consensus is reached when the team thinks that it has determined a strategic direction to follow. He or she must also ensure that all team members understand their role in helping the organization reach its goals. A teambuilding facilitator will teach and lead exercises or games that companies can use to develop teambuilding skills. This individual might also have to settle personality conflicts, usually by addressing the problem rather than the personalities.

To find a strategy facilitator or teambuilding facilitator that will help the company reach its goals, organizational leaders should consult an online database to find individuals with the right mix of training and experience from similar companies.

Group Facilitation: What Factors Are Controlled to Nurture Efficiency?

A team of employees brought together to achieve a goal, resolve conflicts, or make important decisions is group facilitation. Facilitators are in charge of ensuring the productive flow of a meeting. They make certain the meeting flows, has an agenda, and keep the group on track and disrupt arguments by interjecting when necessary. This individual manages the discussion while remaining neutral to assist the participants in reaching an understandable and well-researched decision. A group facilitator is not the same as a team leader or company executive because their experience is given strictly in an objective manner to aid in the progress of the discussion. A facilitator is in charge of:

  • Keeping Everyone Focused
  • Unlocking Creativity or Expertise
  • Making Certain Items are Discussed Thoroughly
  • Helping the Participants Reach Better Decisions
  • Resolving Issues or Accomplishing Objectives

Facilitators have precise techniques that are designed to promote participation and positivity during the meeting. Telling individuals assigned to a group that they must do something does not automatically provide good results. Personalities have to be balanced in order to create an environment where ideas are pondered rather than rejected. Facilitators are trained to maintain the environment necessary to reach a productive outcome.

How Does a Group Facilitator Maintain the Right Atmosphere?

A group facilitator focuses on what can be done to help participants work together and reach a common goal. They guide the team through each agenda and monitor what goes on to put everyone’s skills to the best use. This addition allows a team to be highly successful and supplies improved results at a much faster pace. An effective organizer will have these qualities:

  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Proactive Nature
  • Responsiveness
  • Resilience

Group facilitation requires an individual to be capable of modifying activities prior to and during a session. They should be able to change activities based on the observed characteristics of participants. Experts remain neutral while taking steps to prevent extreme tensions or frustrations from affecting productivity.

Six tensions typically arise during a team-based meeting and can drastically affect progress if they are not handled correctly. The following tensions enhance a meeting when managed efficiently by a group facilitator:

  • Structure
  • Pace
  • Interaction
  • Focus
  • Concern
  • Control

The structure of a meeting can range from tight to loose in regards to how the rules are laid out. An extremely tight structure involves defining rules before the process starts whereas rules are defined as the discussion progresses in a loose meeting. Group facilitation experts manage the interaction between participants ranging from cooperative to competitive environments. Focus can be process driven, result driven, or remain neutral with concern ranging from a more individual approach to the group as a whole. A facilitator will take an unobtrusive role if a team must decide on what actions or objectives offer the most value. They sometimes take a neutral, consulting, leadership, or background role based on the objectives that need to be met. Professionals must be capable of balancing every tension to create the most productive atmosphere and guarantee positive results.

How to Sell Products Online – 6 Ways to Make a Good Sale Online

Selling online is one of the profitable things that you can do in the online world but learning how to sell products online is also another challenge. Although there are many ways to sell items on the internet, it is important that you learn and master a few tips and ways on how to sell products online fast.
Here are a few things that you might want to master in selling your items on the internet.

1. Build an online store. One of the straightforward ways on how to sell products online is to make a website, post your products for sale, allow online readers to shop by putting up an online shopping cart and allow them to pay on your website as well. One of the challenges in putting up your online store is to be able to come up with a great website design that can facilitate online shopping and make it as easy as possible for the people to purchase your products.

2. Affiliate marketing. Another way on how to sell products online is through affiliate marketing. In this marketing strategy, you set up an affiliate marketing program and let affiliates or interested individuals sign up for it. You don’t have to promote your products but let the affiliates do it. You will have to pay affiliates a commission as soon as they can make a sale of your products. Of course, affiliate marketing allows you to get the burden of marketing off your shoulders.

3. Online auctions. Another very popular way to sell your items online is through online auctions. In fact, eBay is one popular site that allows you to sell your products online through bidding. One thing that you have to keep in mind if you want to go for the online auctions is to make sure to price your product well. Competition can be tough in online auctions and competitors can go down into a very low level just to make a sale.

4. Find websites where you can sell items you have at a fixed price. If you have very few items for sale, you can also find websites that allow you to post your products for sale at a fixed price. You can actually find a number of them online. This can be a cost-effective way on how to sell products online especially if you only have limited items.

5. Sell your products in online classifieds or local directories.Especially if your products are big and difficult to transport to far places, or if you want to sell something only within your region, this can be a good place to do it.

6. Social networks. There are more productive uses of social networks in these times. One is to putting up an online store and selling products to your social network friends and to the friends of their friends. The networking in this site can be good especially for businesses and if you want to sell your products fast online, go for the social networks.