Analyze the rather intricate role of team facilitation required with teams in their stages of development
Team facilitation aims at making the coordination and performance of duties allocated to teams easy. This implies that group and team facilitators must aim at providing the necessary assistance and not controlling their teams. The facilitator is also supposed to remain neutral during group discussions as this provides a neutral and non biased solution to some of the internal problems that may bedevil the team thereby hampering sound decision making procedures that a team may adopt. This is because the main aim of having group discussions and sessions is mainly to learn from past occurrences and individual experiences rather than accomplish any tasks.
One of the main roles of team facilitation is the realization by the facilitator that learning should be participant directed (androgogical) as opposed to being teacher directed (pedagogical) (Raelin 2003). The facilitator must demonstrate autonomy and have the capacity to model some attributes in the group such as making members tolerable to ambiguity. They must also demonstrate openness and show frankness and sensitivity especially when confronting any conflicts and disagreements that may come up in the group. The facilitator must also be able to clarify the goals of the group to the members. This guides them when soliciting for individual views and feedback from the group members.
Facilitators must also have the ability of learning to learn. They should encourage team members to give their own suggestions and solutions to problems rather than dictating solutions to them. Facilitators can give guidance on the resources members of teams should use while seeking solutions to their problems.
The facilitator must also have the necessary expertise in the subject matter under discussion. The facilitator may not be experienced in the technical areas of projects but should be an expert in the group procedures that enhance development of key competencies to members. This enables the facilitator to be active in distributing of roles to various groups, participation of every member and enhancing norms and practices that uphold decorum and engagement of each member.
A facilitator must also have the ability to apply proper intervention strategies in the face of various situations. Prescriptive strategies aim at advising or offering counsel to group members while informative strategies are used by a facilitator to offer leads on how group members should proceed on particular issues. Other strategies include cathartic, catalytic and confronting strategies.
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Do you believe that self-leadership is required before engaging in team leadership, as per Manz and Sims (1991)?
Self leadership is fundamental before one engages in team leadership. Self leadership equips one with vital values such as self observation and individual goal setting. It also allows for self assessment and reward. These attributes are crucial since possessing them equips an individual with core competencies necessary in guiding teams. These attributes create self motivation for performance of tasks which leads to creation and addition of value to oneself and to the team (Manz and Sims 1991).
How might you implement the role of team facilitator (see, for example, Fisher, 2000) as you now become further engaged in your work-based problem for the CAL Project?
A team facilitator must remain neutral and limit any content related contributions to the group discussions. This makes the group own their decisions. The facilitator should mainly focus on providing resources and the tools required by the group for them to arrive at quality decisions. He should create collaborative and working partnerships within the group. This can be done through the creation of customized applications that address specific client needs. The facilitator should also plan and create elaborate procedures and processes which should be followed by the group in the dissemination of their roles. It is also the role of the facilitator to ensure that the working environment is participatory and conducive to all (Fisher 2000). This can be done through maintaining impressive interpersonal relationships, recognizing diversity by making sure the processes adopted are inclusive, proper management of conflicts that may arise and nurturing creativity within the group. The facilitator should also be active in maintaining and sustaining professionalism and growth of knowledge within the group. This includes maintaining professional attitudes through creating self awareness and assessment.