Recently my client, First Phoenix Group (FPG), and I were fortunate enough to receive a Facilitation Impact Award (FIA) from the International Association of Facilitators. My first FIA was in 2013. When I was given my first FIA Award, I didn’t provide a press release. I didn’t tell my clients about it. I didn’t even tell all my family. But, it was a big deal in my mind – I just wasn’t comfortable taking credit for it. Why? Because it wasn’t about me; it was about the clients and the team’s success.

The second award has made me a bit more introspective about what the award means, what connotation it has to those who hear about it, and what my response should be to it. This time around, as it was the first time, there is a tendency for those to hear about it to make me the center of attention, even amongst those in my client organization. That is troubling, but instead of just not telling anybody about it, I decided this time I need to be an advocate of the power of facilitation to enable people’s success. And to do that, I need to create some clarity about what this award is really about and point my audience to the real heroes behind this FIA Award – The FPG Team.

Let’s start with this – the people on the team were assigned an objective. They did the work, they disciplined themselves to the path that made an impact on their company, and they did the things that created the results. What did I do? I helped them. That was it.

You see, facilitators don’t create results; they only enable people to work collaboratively together in an effective and efficient manner. Facilitators help a group be effective by ensuring everyone understands the objective, the key measures of success, and the method they will use to get the results. Facilitators help a group be efficient by ensuring meetings are productive, not time wasters, that documentation occurs and is distributed, by talking and working with those entities that would constrain the team, by enlisting the help of those who can provide resources for the team to move ahead. None of this changes the system and creates an improved result. The team changes the system to create a new result. All that these facilitator activities do is assist a group be successful.

The real heroes, the difference makers, the people who individually contribute to the group’s collective efforts – well they are the true awardees. They made the effort, their results created an impact, and they did it in a fashion that demonstrates excellence in group inclusiveness and collaboration. As for me, I’m proud I could help them, the FPG team, be successful.

Want to learn more about facilitation, contact Misty River Consulting.


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