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Facilitative Leadership for Your Company

If you are a leader or have your own company, it is possible that you have spent time deciding how to lead your company and its employees – what kind of leadership, specifically, to employ. Many businesses are increasingly employing facilitative leadership with their companies and teams. With facilitative leadership, all members take ownership of their work by collaborating on an equal platform.

Facilitative leadership for the company

What is facilitative leadership?

‘Facilitative leadership’ is a method of leadership that involves all employees in the decision-making process at a company. This kind of leadership boosts employee responsibility and motivation since it boosts their ownership of the work they are doing along with the consequence of it.

The word facilitate means ‘to make an action or process easier’. So the process involves helping the team come to a consensus through certain types of indirect communication methods. The idea is to use the collective expertise of the group to solve business problems together.

How does it work?

Executive In facilitative leadership, the leader becomes the ‘facilitative leader’ and they guide the group in an unbiased manner to work together to come to a conclusion.

This method works very differently when compared to the more traditional method and style of leadership, where the leader or manager would make all the decisions and their word was merely followed by the rest of the team. In traditional methods, the leader or leaders make the decision and the rest of the team is informed of the decision and the course of action.

This is because it is a perceived notion that the boss has the solution to everything and the rest of the team is there just to enact and fulfill the boss’ decisions.

In a facilitative leadership environment, the manager/leader does not hold the primary decision-making authority. That lies with the consensus of the team. Everyone in the team puts forth their thoughts based on their expertise, knowledge, and perspectives, and they come to a collective decision.

The group is encouraged to brainstorm, discuss, debate, review, and come to a consensus in a structured manner through creative and strategic thinking.

Why is it beneficial?

This method of leadership is beneficial for many reasons. Facilitative leadership involves ensuring every member of the team is aligned with the goal and working in the same direction. Overall it instigates commitment, alignment, responsibility, and innovation from the group. This is because it helps team members see the big picture and understand what that means for the company or the group. This also means that they will be self-governed and self-motivated.

One of the many benefits of facilitative leadership is that it brings to light new and innovative ideas that might not have been proposed or considered before. This makes it ideal for solving complex problems that would otherwise be dealt with with safe or predictable solutions.

What are the complications?

But like everything else, facilitative leadership is not without some challenges. It does take some familiarization, and until then discussions can be chaotic. All team members need to imbibe and understand the process well to be productive. It also needs an adept facilitative leader who needs to commit to the role and work on their own skills before beginning this process. But the results are worth it.

How to employ facilitative leadership?

In this situation, a leader needs to apply acute listening and communication skills. With a high level of awareness, a leader must encourage creative thinking and innovation in group discussions. They must use communication skills such as paraphrasing, summarizing, and questioning in order to guide the group. They need to ensure a high level of discussion within the group and inspire high quality discussions through various group discussion methods like debating and brainstorming.

In group discussions, it is common for differences of opinions to derail the conversation at hand, and that’s where the leader plays an important role. They must keep the group from conflict that might injure the team.

A facilitative leader is in charge of organizing and designing processes and discussions that will guide the group discussion but also ensure and encourage a range of conversations so that no conversation is limited by their bias or uncontrolled. A facilitative leader must create an environment that encourages opinions without judgement. They are also responsible to be inclusive in the processes and methods they implement so that all participants are comfortable to participate.

Facilitative leadership is an evolved method of leadership that strays far from the traditional methods. While it does take some practice and some realignment, in truth the aim of facilitative leadership is that everyone concerned is acutely aligned. It requires some amount of unlearning and relearning to re-calibrate to this more effective and more productive method of function. But it is highly beneficial and well worth the effort.

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