When you plan an offsite meeting for strategic planning or other focused purposes, do you as the business owner or CEO/President run the meeting? Or do you have one of the management team members, like a vice president, run the meeting? Or do you use an “outsider” in the form of a professional certified facilitator? If you have not used an outside facilitator, you are probably missing some strategic benefits of doing that.
A professional facilitator brings an independent and open-minded perspective to your meeting, and the focused reasons for the meeting. He or she will keep the discussion focused, keep the process on track, and will encourage team members to act as equals in the process. Some organizations choose to “go it alone” and attempt to conduct the meeting entirely “in house.” In my own personal and professional experiences over more than 35 years, I have always witnessed better outcomes when an outside professional facilitator is brought in. In fact, many of my clients come to me AFTER they have tried and failed at doing the process themselves.
Okay, so what are the powerful benefits of using an outside facilitator? Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach offers a list of ten (10) of the most powerful benefits from using a professional outside facilitator for your strategic planning and other focused purpose meetings.
Powerful Benefit #1: Unbiased objectivity. An outside facilitator is not biased and can be objective and assist you to achieve the desired outcome of your meeting.
Powerful Benefit #2: Increased probability of a successful outcome. The professional facilitator has the experience of going through many of these and brings that experience to bear for your benefit.
Powerful Benefit #3: Outside-the-box thinking. The outside facilitator will bring outside the industry vision and will ask valuable “beyond the traditional and normal” questions that many insiders cannot see, will not think of or are afraid to ask.
Powerful Benefit #4: Ensure a level playing field and gain greater buy-in and implementation from team members. If the owner, CEO, or another senior manager runs the meeting, the team members attending the meeting may believe there is an unannounced pre-determined plan and there is some clever maneuvering going on. This can cause resentment and hinder the genuine participation and input from the attendees. And then you will end up with no team buy-in and weak implementation.
Powerful Benefit #5: No negative personal agendas. If an insider facilitates the meeting, their ability to objectively lead discussion will be adversely affected if and when the discussion focuses on their area of responsibility.
Powerful Benefit #6: The owner, CEO or other senior manager can participate.
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible for the CEO or other insider, to effectively facilitate because the other people will still react to the CEO or inside person as their superior. When you use an outside facilitator, you can be fully engaged in participation and help produce stronger, more strategic, and increased probability of implementing outcomes of the meeting.
Powerful Benefit #7: Completion of your meeting and achievement of your desire outcomes in a timely manner. The outside facilitator will be committed to making sure you finish the meeting in a timely manner.
Powerful Benefit #8: Raising issues that need to be raised. An outside facilitator will raise issues that the insider may try to avoid and will bring the benefit of a dispassionate perspective and can more effectively diffuse arguments and channel intense moments into problem solving moments.
Powerful Benefit #9: Increased probability of a successful outcome. An outside professional facilitator brings the experience from going through many of these types of meetings and brings that experience to bear for your benefit.
Powerful Benefit #10: Creating a safe, non-threatening environment for open discussion and helping participants feel less intimidated.
Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach encourages you to benefit from strategic thinking in developing and conducting planning meetings. If you would like to learn more about how a strategic thinking business coach can facilitate and guide you in that endeavor, please contact Glenn Ebersole today through his website at www.businesscoach4u.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org