Structured Thought Processes - "Process Skills" | Gary Rush Facilitation PDF Print E-mail


As an IAF CPF Assessor, I've noticed that a weakness Facilitators have in common is poor process skills.  They all deal well with people issues, but they all struggle defining a clear, thought-process for the group to follow.  I’m talking about processes that help structure the thinking of a group so that they can make effective decisions to ensure well thought-out solutions.


How often have you been in a meeting where people work together well, but can't get from point A to point B when making decisions?  It isn’t because they can’t decide.  It’s because something is missing – a structured thought process.  For example, a group is in a meeting developing criteria to choose between vendors for a project, but they disagree about the criteria.  Why?  There are two (2) major reasons why groups disagree about criteria:


    1) They don’t have an overarching goal to guide the criteria.

    2) They disagree about “subjective” criteria (e.g., vendor viability).


A well-structured thought process solves both problems.


Process Skills are Misunderstood


People make the mistake of thinking that process relates to business procedures.  Process is a way of organizing thoughts, ensuring that the needed structure is there for decision-making, problem solving, etc.  Too often, groups jump ahead to solutions without defining the problem, so they struggle because they don’t share a common goal.  These are process issues.


Process Skills are Crucial

Process Skills are just as important as People Skills.  Without process skills, Facilitators cannot guide groups – groups will struggle and break down making win-win difficult at best.


People Need Balanced Holistic Learning


In my Facilitator training, I devote 50% of class time to People Kills and 50% to Process Skills, providing balanced Holistic Learning. People need to know "how to" form teams (people skills) and they need to know "how to" guide teams to a well thought-out solution (process skills).


Process Skills provide deliberate, structured thought processes to build something of value.