A facilitator's task is to plan, guide and manage a group event to ensure that the group's objectives are met effectively, with clear thinking, good participation and full buy-in from everyone who is involved. He or she eases the group into the process to make clear and objective decisions. This is what Rory Allardice Environmental offers those requiring facilitation, with particular emphasis on those in the biodiversity management sector. Rory Allardice Environmental is based in the Western Cape, but travels the world for facilitation workshops.

So how should the facilitator operate? The faciltator must understand the group's desired outcome, the background and the context (for example, the need for the meeting or process to be facilitated).

The facilitator then:

Designs
and plans the group process, and selects the tools that best help the group progress towards that outcome.
Guides and controls the group process to ensure that:
- There is effective participation;
- Participants achieve a mutual understanding;
- Their contributions are considered and included in the ideas, solutions or decisions that emerge;
- Participants take shared responsibility for the outcome.
Ensures that outcomes, actions and questions are properly recorded and actioned, and appropriately dealt with afterwards.

There are four levels of facilitation, each one requiring a certain amount of time, expertise and effort.

Level 1:
Understanding concepts, values and beliefs; use of facilitative activities such as active listening, questioning, summarising; managing time; encouraging participation; keeping clear and accurate notes; problem solving and action planning, etc.
Level 2: Mastering process tools; designing meetings; skilled at using the right decision-making method, achieving consensus and getting true closure; handling feedback activities, etc.
Level 3: Skilled at managing conflict and making immediate interventions; able to deal with resistance and personal attacks; making design changes on the spot, etc.
Level 4: Design and implement process interventions in response to complex organisational issues; use tools to promote process improvement and overall organisational effectiveness, etc.

It's crucial that the group ideas flow into solutions and decisions. The key function of the facilitator is to create the group process and environment for personalities to positively flourish to contribute to identifying the threats and solutions and to help reach the decisions.
Project Facilitation & Implementation
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"My mission is to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable systems which will in turn ensure the
well-being of mankind."

Assessor & Workplace Development Facilitator THETA accredited.
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