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Team Leading and Facilitation

High Performance Team coaches must be careful to avoid slipping into the roles of team leading or team facilitation. A coaches role is to teach and encourage High Performance Team behavior and to provide options and approaches when the team becomes stuck.

The use of meeting facilitators is a very common practice in conducting meetings throughout the world. Well trained facilitators help groups stay on the subject, organize and record ideas and thoughts, draw thoughts out of quiet people, and keep individuals from dominating a meeting session. This is a lot for one person to be responsible for. Facilitators are forced to summarize and record people's thoughts. The facilitator is in control of the pen. When putting these into words on a flip chart, the facilitator will often record the thought a little differently than the speaker intended. Depending on the professionalism of the facilitator, he or she may have some ideas of their own about solving the problem or determining what needs to be done. Indeed, to keep the meeting focused and moving along, most facilitators will offer their own thoughts or ideas for solving the problem. As a result, when the session ends, a number of participants feel that the conclusions drawn are slightly to significantly off the mark, or that the approach is flawed. From a group buy-in point of view, the result is somewhat lacking. The group probably lacks the required degree of commitment to see the effort through to a successful conclusion. A facilitator who "oversteers" a group or seems to be steering the group, can also cause individuals to "quit and stay"; a situation where group members lose interest, enthusiasm, and ownership

A High Performance Team is coached to accomplish the roles and responsibilities of the facilitator. Each member is keyed to the body language of the other team members and stops the action to gain understanding when another team member looks uncomfortable with the line of discussion. Until the team reaches this level of behavior, the coach will need to carefully monitor discussions and activities to make certain that all team members are involved and getting their concerns heard and resolved.

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