Facilitative Leadership Model

The Facilitative Leadership Model and its processes of group consultation and decision-making fall within the parameters and guidelines of our global human development paradigm. In this way it contributes to the process from which we shape a framework for cohesive global public policy platforms.

This model is best suited for a small group participation of between four to twelve individuals.  However, it is adaptable for larger groups depending on the need, requirement, and ability of the facilitative leader. With larger groups it would mean there is less chance that the facilitator has the knowledge or a strong relationship or bond with each individual participant, thus, making it less like to draw out those problems solving talents unique to each individual.

Facilitative Leadership Style

The model we use is different in style as opposed to other types of facilitative leadership because it includes aspects, features, and conditions not associated with this style of leadership. Our style shows empathy and justice operating alongside compassion and integrity, fosters an inclusive approach to consultation and decision-making, and champions diversity as a prime element both in opinions and in contributors.
Process

Personal Ego

An idea when presented has the contributor’s ego attached. This can be disastrous for the consultative effort if the contributor persists in believing that their idea solves the problem being confronted. It can delay the consultative process, cause antagonism among group members, threaten to undercut discussions, and spiral out of control if not intervened with corrective action by the facilitative leader. Under our model, contributors understand and agree that their ideas are a gift to the group for discussion and dissection and testing. When ideas presented go through this process, that which emerges for group consensus and decision-making may not resemble that proposed.  If the group can not reach consensus on decisions being proposed, a two-thirds majority rule takes precedence though an agreement by all members is preferable.

Facilitative Leader

The facilitative leader operates within a non-commanding stance, meaning that the position is devoid of command and control. Rather, the role assumes primary importance as non-authoritative.  The facilitator listens to the verbal and also takes into account the non-verbal expressions of team members without judgment or condemnation.  As an enabler of individual creativity within group discussions, the facilitative leader encourages open suggestions and constructive feedback so everyone shares their thoughts and opinions.  This generates a sense of joint responsibility for the progress of a project or for concrete decisions made to resolve major problems.

Ownership

 A facilitative leader may contribute his/her ideas for discussion and like everyone else releases them from ownership. This position is demanding because the facilitative leader must exercise self-leadership, requires knowledge and experience about human nature, fosters group cohesion with respect for all participants, and encourages freedom of speech and actions that promotes creativity and growth. This style of leadership empowers team members, inspires ideas and opinions, lets creativity flow to a natural fulfillment, promotes harmony and well-being participants, and motivates the group to achieve reasonable and just solutions.

Compassion

Facilitative leadership requires you to be compassionate in your communications that includes listening to the verbal and non-verbal expressions of your team members, subordinates or clients without judgment or condemnation of any sort. This kind of leadership is non-authoritative and invites open suggestions and constructive feedback from the floor so that everyone involved gets to share their thoughts and opinions.

Openness

In this kind of setup, suggestions and opinions are first contemplated and then debated in a healthy environment. Everyone including stakeholders, management, team members, employees or any related parties get to share ownership of ideas only as a group and when there is a collective agreement and clarity toward where the project or organization is heading. This openness and allowance to sift through valuable ideas provides a clearer vision of the path where a project is heading without taking the reins to restrict it.

Joint Responsibility

Our approach permits understanding and appreciation to arise between team members to promote a sense of joint responsibility and accomplishment for decisions made to resolve difficult problems and that contribute to policy and implementation procedures for the progress of a project or growth of an organization. 

FUNDAMENTALS OF FACILITATIVE LEADERSHIP 

Facilitative Leaders

    • Use active listening skills including paraphrasing, summarizing, reflecting, and questioning.
    • Encourage and generate participative discussion in groups.
    • Help stimulate creative thinking through brainstorming and other idea-generation processes.
    • Stimulate strategic consideration of alternatives and informed decision-making of choices.
    • Manage contrasting perspectives and opinions that might cause conflict among members of a group.
    • Manage contrasting perspectives and opinions that might cause conflict among members of a group.
    • Intervene with individuals and groups without taking total control of the situation.
    • Design meeting processes to accomplish a wide range of goals and objectives.
    • Draw out others’ opinions in a non-judgmental manner.
    • Support teams in various stages of group development.
    • Help individuals and groups reflect on their experiences and capture relevant learning.
    • Lead or design inclusive group processes that honor individuals’ different learning and participation styles.
    • Help shape more powerful and strategic questions for exploration.

Assumptions

Three Essential Assumptions —

A facilitator functions as a leader of a particular type leadership style — one that is participative and democratic, is not a laissez-faire style because the group may not do whatever it wants, and it is not autocratic style.

Success in playing the role depends on three key assumptions —
Facilitator Neutrality
The Leader Acts in the Groups Best Interest
Group Functions Under Consensus

Assumption 1: Facilitator Neutrality
It bases the major differences between an autocratic leader and a facilitative leader on group perception.  Autocratic leaders take a position for which they are strong advocates, and facilitative leaders must appear neutral.

Assumption 2: The Leader Acts in the Best Interest of the Group
In many respects the facilitative leadership looks a great deal like a servant leader—they put the primary needs of the group ahead of their own selfish needs. A classic example is short-term profits over a long-term growth. The dominant view in capitalism is to stroke short-term results and to forgo long-term achievements.

Assumption 3: It’s Important to Build Consensus
To understand facilitative leadership, one has to understand the nature of consensus: A method of decision-making through which a group strives to reach substantial, though maybe not a unanimous consensus, on matters of importance or overall direction or policy.  Achieving consensus is important because group members are likely to commit to its support and implement solutions reached.

Adapted from: The Facilitative Leadership Style. By Legacee. Knowledge grows people.  People Grow Organizations

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