Boosting Performance with Facilitative Leadership
At its core, leadership is about aligning people and their tasks towards a shared goal. This idea of leadership is discussed in my new book, The Handbook of Facilitative Leadership: Concrete Ways to Boost Performance. I would like to share with you four ways that you can use facilitative leadership to boost the performance of groups or teams in your professional life.
1. Communicate the Goal
I travel all around the world giving seminars and training sessions about facilitative leadership, and one shortcoming I see again and again is a lack of clear goals within a company. It may be taken for granted, but it’s crucial not only to clearly communicate goals to your employees, but also to check for comprehension. The content of a presentation can be interpreted very differently from person to person, so it is very important to discuss the goals to create a shared meaning.
2. Implementation Plan
Once everyone agrees on the goal, you need to create an implementation plan: a shared set of tasks and individual actions that each person will take to help reach the goal. One of my favourite ways to do this is to give people lots of time to cross-fertilise solutions in small changing groups in order to maximise group alignment. When people have the chance to discuss the solutions together, they begin to form a group consensus about which solutions to take, and the best ideas will rise to the top. When we have a list of solutions to be implemented we create a visual action plan; what, who, when.
3. Individual Coaching
While many of the methods and tools of facilitative leadership involve groups of people, individual coaching is still very important. I encourage you to schedule time for individual coaching sessions because you a chance to address and review things that are not covered in group-level meetings. This is the time to iron out any individual details and make sure that there are no problems or lingering doubts that a person may have. These one-on-one sessions also give you the chance to see what the employee needs to accomplish their goal, and how you, their leader, can directly support them.
This is the most important step, as people can easily lose their way and need help. It is completely normal to feel 100% aligned and on the same page during the Friday meeting, only to vaguely remember what happened in that meeting when Monday rolls around. As a leader, you need to check in and review the goals frequently to make sure that everything is progressing as it should be. Depending on the context, you can review the goals on a monthly, or even weekly basis. Ask people, “what is going well?” and “What can be improved?”. This is a time for people to troubleshoot any problems that have come up, and also it lets them reabsorb the goals, which can energize and create commitment again. This process of frequent review is also known as action learning, which is an educational method which has been around since the 1950’s. Research has shown that action learning can increase a groups performance by 30% when it comes to accomplishing an objective or completing a task, and I urge you to give it a try, too!
The tools, methods, and theory behind facilitative leadership are something I share with people daily, and I want you to learn more about them, too! A great place for you to find out more is in my new book, The Handbook of Facilitative Leadership: Concrete Ways to Boost Performance. You can read a preview of the book and find out more simply by clicking this link: The Handbook of Facilitative Leadership: Concrete Ways to Boost Performance.
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