I was recently asked about the benefits of having a "professional facilitator" run a peer group meeting. I typically can run through a quick list of things when I am asked this in person, but this time I was asked for a written list to share.
So, as happens with writing, I put a little more thought into it and asked the BWC Team for some thoughts. My initial goal was to come up with a "top ten" list. We edited it down to 12 - here is what we came up with:
- Understands group dynamics and how groups function best.
- Ensures the group stays focused on its goals.
- Creates a safe environment where women can be open and honest while maintaining and enforcing confidentiality.
- Encourages multiple perspectives on issues.
- Pushes the group to deeper levels of dialogue, asks the hard questions and exposes the "elephants" in the room.
- Makes sure that everyone is heard.
- Keeps the meeting running smoothly and on promised timelines.
- Takes responsibility for managing the communication for meeting times, commitments and follow ups.
- Responds to member needs by brining in the appropriate speakers, experts, or resources into the meeting.
- Brings practical business and development tools into learning opportunities.
- Has a network to use for connecting others that is constantly growing and changing.
- Is or has been an owner and/or an executive and has "been in your shoes."
I believe that these are the things you should be getting from any facilitated group session.
There is however one more item that I believe is part of our "secret sauce" here at The BWC. That is that each of our Facilitators is passionate about helping other women grow and succeed in business, leadership and life. For those of you that know our Facilitators, you know how true this is.
What would you add to our list?