Facilitation skills is an important leadership skill

Leadership skills are necessary when facilitating in a group setting.

Have you been to a meeting or served on a committee and there was no direction, no agenda and no one in charge or if there was, did anything get accomplished? These days it is important when you bring youth or volunteers together to make a decision or to set some goals that it gets done properly and in a timely manner. We are all busy and whether we volunteer or are appointed to be on a committee or attend a meeting, there needs to be some organization and follow up.

According to Michigan State University Extension, people are typically accustomed to being involved in a meeting, committee or a task where there is one person in charge who acts as a leader or facilitator. This person assumes responsibility for group organization, keeps track of the agenda and helps stay focused on goals and expectations of the group. This type of leadership is called facilitation.

In Targeting Life Skills, facilitation leadership style is discussed. The facilitation leader guides youth in the experiential learning process, works with the group members to be involved, helps with the decision making process and uses hands-on learning activities.  

Learning is usually accomplished through discovery or exploring. This is followed up with questions on reflection and use of critical thinking skills, and then sharing with others what they learned and how it can be used in future learning.

Facilitators can help the committee understand the need for goals. They are the guides for direction, processing and discussing what they want to accomplish. Once they have set the tone for this, then the group can accomplish more goals and can be proactive. Additional leadership skills can be learned by observing the facilitator and how they handle the group.  

For more information on life skills and using the TLS model, visit MSU Extension and Michigan 4-H.

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