About the power of collaboration between facilitators.

You can facilitate alone.
You can buddy up with another experienced facilitator and facilitate as a team.
You can facilitate with an assistant co-facilitator.

I started my facilitation career 20 years ago as a co-facilitator. Nowadays, I often pair up with other experienced co-facilitators to form a facilitation team. Certainly, for bigger workshops and training. Or I involve the organizing team and the participants to step into the role of co-facilitators.

I love facilitating in a team.

Not because it is easier but because it is better, for the group, me, and the process.

I sometimes hear certain reluctant voices: ‘Isn’t it more work to define who does what?’ There seems to be hesitation and eventually a fear of losing time, influence, or control.

Being prepared for being flexible

Facilitators ‘dance’ on two levels: before the event at the preparation and design table and during the meeting. A facilitator comes prepared and, at the same time, is always prepared to adapt if the situation, the group, and the circumstances require it.

A good facilitator is a person that is able to change her/ his rhythm and dancing steps according to the music around her/ him.

Ernst Bolliger

This ‘dance’ can be sometimes a bit of a balancing act.

Why not dance it in a team?

The power of designing and facilitating as a team

  • In a facilitation team, we are more creative, and dynamic together. “So nice to see how you complement each other, this is so energizing.”
  • The plan of the gathering becomes more robust because we challenge each other, and polish and fine-tune the sessions.
  • I see and hear more because I have powerfully 4 or even 6 eyes and ears.
  • These multiple senses, make it possible to have quick exchanges in the facilitation team before intervening, if necessary, for making tiny (or if needed bigger) shifts in the evolving program of the gathering.
  • Co-facilitating organizers and participants are taking ownership of the process and the conversation.

There is also a personal benefit.

If you and your co-facilitator aren’t peer-coaching one another during participant breakouts, you are really missing out. r

  • I improve my practice. My co-facilitators are also my reflection buddies and sparring partners.
  • I feel safe and supported.
  • I dance better in a pair. And it is more fun.

I wouldn’t fly without a copilot because of the metaphoric turbulences and because it is more fun. Or as Ana Carolina Cassiano shares: “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

Finally, I strongly believe that every facilitator can be a potential facilitation partner and co-facilitator. If a facilitator cannot work together with other facilitators, how can he/she be a collaboration crack? I wonder.

What do you think?

In my next blog post, I will share how to find your ideal facilitation partner. So, stay tuned.

Enjoy your learning moment,

PS. For upcoming learning opportunities check: https://linktr.ee/nadiavonholzen

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