Group conflicts involve contradictory needs and individual perspectives and if not managed properly can negatively impact everyone. However, these complex and potentially disruptive issues can be addressed in a positive and productive manner. An in-depth Facilitation process provides the necessary focus, support, and structure to assist groups to work through divisive and challenging issues to generate cohesiveness and creative solutions.
Facilitators are impartial guides that help work groups and teams navigate through tough issues. The Facilitator assists by moderating discussions, establishing communication guidelines, balancing participation, providing feedback, and keeping discussions focused so that the group can move forward. The Facilitator oversees the process and progress of the team’s communication to alleviate tension and works towards building consensus.
Facilitation can also be advantageous when teams are forming, before any significant conflict situations arise. Teams benefit from having a facilitated discussion on how they will work together and address early how they will function when conflict does occur. This process is a preventative measure and will have a positive impact on the formation of a cohesive team.
Facilitation is valuable when a work group is experiencing issues that are affecting productivity or morale. The Facilitation process allows the group to bring up and address these issues in a safe environment that promotes open, honest dialogue. Each member of the group is a participant in the process, so the solutions that are developed through this process are solutions that come from the group, not the Facilitator. By working through issues in this way, solutions are more creative and each team member develops new skills and builds awareness to more competently manage future situations.
Facilitation can also be used in a proactive manner when an organization is experiencing significant change or is implementing new policies and procedures that may to be contentious, Group dialogue through Facilitation can play a significant part in the success of a change management process.
To re-establish trust, Facilitation can be utilized after a particularly difficult situation. While the parties may have already reached an agreement or an agreement was externally imposed, there may be hard feelings and negativity that need to be overcome in order for all parties to get back to work. In these types of situations, the focus of the Facilitation process is on creating a work group or team that is able to look toward the future, move beyond past negative experiences, and build skills in addressing future conflicts constructively.