“Encourage” others to volunteer their opinions rather than “control” others.
“Specialists” who possess certain skills will be necessary to have effective meetings. Those skills that specialists are supposed to possess are called facilitation skills. You might think that a leader of meeting should be able to handle opinions skillfully and arrive at a conclusion quickly. However, it is actually the most important mission for a leader to “encourage” others to speak up to bring out as many constructive opinions as possible to reach reasonable conclusions and convincing agreements rather than handling the meeting efficiently.
We suggest especially you who are working under foreign affiliates and multi-national companies use facilitation skills after understanding national traits and cultural backgrounds of other members who attend a meeting. For example, Japanese people tend to avoid gathering attentions. They feel awkward speaking up before their seniors because they are strongly conscious of seniority system. And they prefer silence to standing out because silence can be a virtue in Japanese culture. If you know these traits of Japanese and understand reasons why many Japanese people are slow of speech, you could figure out how to bring out more of their opinions.
Four fundamental skills required of facilitators
Setting and preparing for a meeting, and initiating goal-sharing among members of a meeting as well.
Bringing out as many constructive opinions as possible through observation and intervention skills required of facilitators in addition to basic skills of communication such as attentive listening and questioning skills
Organizing opinions brought out and focusing on the most important points
Building consensus by solving friction between different opinions to arrive at an agreement and successful decision-making
Just attaining these four fundamental skills above, you can be a successful facilitator.
This training has abundant business results particularly for municipalities. In the municipalities, the keyword "collaboration" is valued and many meetings with residents and collaborative projects with other organizations are undertaken. Therefore, in the first meeting, it is necessary to play "the role which hears an opinion and summarizes the opinion well" and have a skill for managing meeting.
Comments from participants
Our lecturers have excellent in their experiences, a level, and characters therefore they are very excellent facilitators. The lecturers who have high business solution skill and leadership will take this program. High consensus building skill and guidance skill were embodied, and the training by our lecturers who have overcome the lecturer-training program becomes study very much.