Group Facilitation Techniques

A group facilitator provides structure for a meeting through prompts, transitions, and group activities.

But perhaps the most important role a facilitator serves is to create a productive environment in which participants can comfortably and constructively share ideas or opinions.

Through balanced participation, a few facilitation techniques, and maintained focus on meeting objectives, a facilitator can make it much easier to navigate group discussions or decision-making. 

Practice active listening. Develop your skills in active listening to better facilitate group meetings. Listen, make eye contact, and use encouraging body language to show that you are listening and engaged in what the speaker is saying.

You might also paraphrase what the speaker says and repeat the speaker’s main points back to the group for deeper reflection. 

What is Communication and Why Does it Matter?

As a professional, you work with people. The ways in which you interact with others on a professional basis are endless.

Communication is that interaction between people.

Communication happens face to face, via email, a memo, a formal report, a photograph, a letter, a tweet, a blog post, a meeting, or an informal discussion. As long as one person is sending a message and another person is receiving it, communication is occurring.

The successful professional communicates effectively.

Effective communication happens when your audience understands your meaning in the way in which you meant it to be understood.

Communication is one of the main skills employers most value in professionals.

Communicating well, so that others understand your meaning, has multiple benefits for professionals and their workplaces:

  • employee satisfaction
  • increased productivity
  • effective problem-solving and conflict management
  • good customer relations

Communication matters not only to the functioning of an organisation, but also personally, to you as a professional.

Those who communicate clearly and appropriately are more apt to have their ideas and comments heard and respected.

Professionals who communicate clearly and appropriately are more apt to be sought after and chosen for a project, a grant, or many different types of benefits.

Another personal benefit of learning about effective professional communication is the set of transferable skills that you can apply to other aspects of your experience, from talking with your manager, to asking for a refund for a less-than-advertised product, to writing emails and blog posts.



Asking for a Raise

If you want to earn more money, you need to increase your value to the company.

That’s why planning your compensation growth goes hand-in-hand with planning your career growth.

Pursue opportunities to expand your role, take on more responsibility, achieve consistently higher performance outcomes, or make your company more profitable.

If you feel that an increase is warranted, schedule some time to chat with your manager face-to-face. Be prepared to present your evidence in a clear and logical way.

Highlight your accomplishments, list your additional responsibilities, and share performance outcomes data that directly demonstrates your added value to the company.

Convince your manager that your contribution to the company pays for itself. 

Remember that you’re not guaranteed a raise just because you ask for one. If there isn’t justification for a raise, then ask your manager to help you create a career development plan and identify what you can do to increase your value to the company.

Getting the Most Out of One-On-One Meetings With Your Manager

One-on-ones aren’t just meetings to touch base. They carve out valuable time to share ideas, give and receive feedback, set goals, advance your career, and brainstorm overall ways to improve your working situation.

Take advantage of the opportunity by preparing what topics you want to talk about before every one-on-one and be ready to share and speak up. 

Give examples. Give specific examples when sharing constructive feedback with your manager.

Pinpoint a specific situation, project, interaction, or outcome to convey your point more effectively. 

What Is Career Development and How Can You Drive Your Career?

Great careers don’t happen on a whim—just like your dream job probably won’t fall into your lap. Career development means taking an active role in continuously shaping, growing, and driving your career to achieve personally defined aspirations. 

One of the most common misconceptions about career development is that you have to climb the corporate ladder to grow. That just isn’t true. There are several different directions you can take in your career development based on your unique strengths, interests, and values. These include:

  • Moving laterally. You can develop new or cross-functional skills, deepen or advance your current skills, or take on a new role at the same level of responsibility.
  • Moving vertically. You might pursue a promotion, expand your job responsibilities, or take on a higher level of control or authority.
  • Taking a step back. Or, you may even decide to take a step back from your career to change fields or invest time in educational opportunities that will allow you to advance at a later date.

Talk to a manager or mentor. While you should be the one driving your career, it can also be helpful to get another person’s perspective or have someone to help hold you accountable. Talk to your manager or a mentor about your professional goals and interests. Ask for a second opinion on what they see as your strengths. And get their input on opportunities to develop the skills or gain the experience you need to move forward. 

Setting a Meeting Agenda

Meetings fill a considerable amount of time in our workdays.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a status update meeting, a board meeting, a post-mortem meeting, or a creative meeting—an agenda is an asset to all meetings.

An agenda is not a long or complicated document, and it doesn’t require much time to create.

Set a meeting agenda and circulate it well in advance to achieve greater clarity, focus, and alignment in your meetings. 

Use a template. Agendas are typically designed as a list or outline and are ideally limited to a single page. However, it may be longer depending on the length and complexity of the meeting.

You can save yourself time when developing future meeting agendas by designing a template to use again.  

HR: What Is DIBs and Its Workplace Impact?

DIBs is an acronym that stands for diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

Diversity is the representation of different groups, both seen and unseen.

Inclusion is when everyone is invited to join and given equal opportunities.

Belonging is when employees feel accepted. They’re part of the team and can be their true selves.

Companies with diverse workforces, inclusive environments, and belonging cultures hold a distinct advantage.

A DIBs workplace attracts top talent, boosts loyalty and engagement, and fosters productivity through free expression. It removes groupthink mentalities and maximises innovation. And it’s something that every business—regardless of its industry—should strive toward. 

Do employees feel like they belong? Having a diverse and inclusive staff isn’t enough. To create a thriving DIBs environment, your employees must also feel like they belong. Take a look around your workplace. Conduct anonymous surveys.

Does everyone have a strong sense of belonging? If not, your diversity and inclusion efforts will continue falling short.

HR: Cultivating DIBs Through Belonging Moments

Moments of belonging and connection are integral to creating a DIBs workplace. For employees to find their footing in a diverse and inclusive environment, they must have a strong sense of community and support. Employees must feel recognised for their accomplishments, valued for their contributions, and free to express their thoughts and opinions. 

To make that environment a reality, create “belonging moments” within your organisation by:

  • Personalising introductions
  • Asking questions
  • Listening attentively
  • Soliciting input in meetings
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Sharing stories

By following each of the above tips and encouraging everyone within your company to get involved, you can close the belonging gap—ensuring that everyone, regardless of who they are, feels like a core component of your company’s puzzle.

An ongoing commitment. Cultivating DIBs through “belonging moments” is a long-term strategy. A single inclusionary moment isn’t enough. You must continue to share stories, listen to others, and ask questions. Every day, try to do one thing on this list. Reach out to others, help them feel included, and make belonging a daily workplace reality.

HR: Attracting and Hiring Diverse Talent

Despite the benefits, many companies struggle to make a significant impact when trying to attract and hire a diverse staff. Often, these problems stem from two primary causes.

First, a business may unintentionally deter candidates from diverse backgrounds from applying.

Second, talent-acquisition teams may ignore applicants because of conscious and unconscious bias. 

To improve your diversity recruiting efforts and overcome those roadblocks, remember these five tips: 

  1. Check job descriptions for bias
  2. Increase your diversity branding
  3. Build a diverse talent-acquisition team
  4. Hold anti-bias training
  5. Practice de-identified hiring

Diversity hiring doesn’t start when there’s a job opening. To make an impact, you need to think long-term.

Follow the five tips and make diversity recruiting an ongoing business strategy, and you’ll reap ongoing rewards as a result.

Increase your awareness. Diversity recruiting is about awareness. Take a look at where you’re falling short.

How can you improve your company image?

What biases are getting in the way?

Once you’re aware of where you need to improve, you can then take action to attract and hire a wider range of applicants.

HR: How to Retain Diverse Talent

Diversity in the workplace is essential for business success. Maintain a diverse workforce, and you’ll gain greater insight into your customers’ needs, spark innovation and creativity, improve problem-solving solutions, and attract future diversity hires. 

But it’s not always easy to retain a diverse workforce. Often, minority employees can have a harder time acclimating, and they may end up feeling isolated from the larger community as a result. To solve those problems, remember these five tips: 

  • Pair new employees with mentors
  • Set up Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
  • Provide diversity and inclusion training
  • Treat everyone as an individual
  • Listen to your staff

Make a mindful effort to implement as many of these tips as possible, and you’ll create a retention strategy that resonates with all staff members and gives your employees a stronger sense of inclusion, belonging, and acceptance.

Develop a community. Being on a team isn’t enough. To build a retention plan that resonates with your staff, you’ll need to give them a sense of community within that team. Ask yourself: “Am I listening to all voices, embracing differences, and promoting a sense of belonging for everyone?” Help your staff feel included, and they’ll be more likely to stick around for the long term.

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