Facilitating team development – 10 characteristics

The facilitator of the team can be deemed to be the most important person in the team. They may not be known by the title of facilitator. They may be called a mentor, a leader, a teacher or a coach. Whatever their title, their role is critical to the successful creation of an effective team. In some team situations they may not be visible. But they are vital.

If you are a team leader (facilitator) rethinking your role, investigating if you should become team facilitator or trying to determine who should become a team facilitator (leader), then the following list could benefit you. There are some skills and qualities that are common to all highly successful team facilitators regardless of the type of team they are facilitating (leading). This list is not exclusive but gives a summary of the main attributes.

The ten most visible characteristics of successful facilitators building teams include:

  • prior experience in being a team member (generally in the same type of team) with an understanding of the roles of team members and the skills they require
  • enthusiasm for the role of facilitator encompassing an eagerness to develop the team members into a team combined with a willingness to continue learning
  • having a relaxed and cheerful personality that may also be called optimistic
  • objectivity when dealing with all of the team members and the ability to judge behaviours not people
  • excellent verbal and non verbal communication skills plus in some situations this may extend to good digital skills
  • being a first-class role model combined with a willingness to demonstrate and join in when required
  • holding a set of values that are in alignment with the corporate and/or community structures of the team
  • having a critical eye to see both potential talent and realise where new skills development is required
  • flexibility when faced with unforeseen obstacles barring immediate progress towards an agreed goal
  • inclusivity of all team members’ rights including disabled, indigenous and migrant members.
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