02.2013 - Keys to Facilitative Leadership

What can leaders do to make it easier to create needed change?

Facilitative leaders make it easier for others to be effective.   In contrast to what we commonly call "command and control" leadership, facilitative leaders are thinking about the long-term development of their people.  They ask high impact questions that help others clarify their thinking.  They listen to the emerging dialogue because they know the value of achieving a robust understanding of motivations, dreams, underlying issues and obstacles at the onset of any change process. Perhaps most significantly, facilitative leaders are not defensive when faced with opposing views.   They understand that the sooner they know what people are feeling and thinking, the sooner they will know how to support their team and adjust their plans in ways that help the team gain confidence and clarity. 

Keys to Being A Facilitative Leader

1.  Collaboration:  Support others' ability to collaborate in finding ways to align new goals and behavior.  Support people reaching out to build new bridges up, down and across organizational lines that support and extend needed change.

2.  High Participatory Meetings:  Convene meetings in ways that employ a variety of methods for people to think, generate data and make decisions.  Ensure that people from a range of opinions, backgrounds, levels in the organization, status and thinking styles are participating equally in the work. 

3.  Faith in Others:  Demonstrate a strong consistent belief in individuals' potential to make change.  Then, continuously recognize and support their progress to desired ends.