|Facilitation is a Form of Collaborative Leadership | Gary Rush Facilitation|
I spent a week at the IAF North America Conference in Chicago. The conference was exciting and provided significant learning experiences as always. I “facilitated” two IAF board meetings and I facilitated the Wisconsin IIBA Chapters Business Analyst Development Day event design workshop in a fishbowl environment. I put “facilitated” in quotes for the IAF board meetings because as Chair of the IAF I obviously had opinions and could not remain neutral. We accomplished a great deal in both the IAF Board meetings and with the IIBA Chapters from Wisconsin – it was quite a session and people commented on how they appreciated my leadership. That got me thinking about leadership and facilitation and it inspired me to write this newsletter.
My style of facilitation is a bit more driven than some (so I’ve been told) and the group always accomplishes a great deal. In my facilitated workshops, I don’t violate neutrality, but when I lead meetings, I obviously have opinions, yet I run them the same way that I facilitate. I always teach students that being a Facilitator is being a temporary Leader – you get people to come together as a group and accomplish good work. What groups gain from a Facilitator or a Leader is leadership and that leadership is critical to forming a group to create collaborative useful solutions.
“Collaborative leadership is the ability of the whole to work together transcending the sum of the parts.” (see my August 2006 FoCuSeD™ eNewsletter). It’s still true but it only happens when the leader is collaborative and uses facilitative skills. So how do we move from an old style command and control leadership model to a collaborative leadership model?
The key to being a Collaborative Leader is engaging everyone making them feel that they are valued, that whatever decisions are made have their involvement, and that they are part of a greater whole. Collaborative Leaders believe that the people we lead are wise when given the opportunity. When setting direction or making decisions in my style of leadership, I:
Does it work?
The following conclusions are a result of this style of Collaborative Leadership:
Using a collaborative leadership style is far more effective than any other style of leadership. It requires effective Active Listening and engaging the group.
My Thought about Project Managers
First of all, let me define some terms (see my February 2006 FoCuSeD™ eNewsletter):
Project Managers too often learn how to manage projects, e.g., define tasks, manage the budget and time line, assign people, etc., but what is needed are Project Managers who know how to lead projects.
Projects are more successful when they have a Leader who engages, motivates, and inspires collaboration amongst the project team and stakeholders. Developing a collaborative leadership style that accomplishes good work with the most support and commitment is critical.
“Inventories can be managed, but people must be led.” H. Ross Perot