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Program facilitation: A Win For All

Effective program facilitation is a multidimensional process that when utilized in full scope provides a comprehensive experience of development from initial needs assessment and planning to implementation and assessment. Program facilitation is a win for the entire team. Whether it is a professional development program for the staff or a guided opportunity to increase the collective knowledge and experience of student-athletes, the benefits are significant. Program facilitation is a process of guided discovery and creating situations that will enable all participants to benefit. According to the International Association of Facilitators, “Every meeting or process that is facilitated has an impact on the individuals and the groups of which they are a part. Good facilitation can change the way people think and act, and ultimately support them to positively change the world around them." The “enabling of powerful change”.

An initial needs assessment or identifying desired objectives is the prefect launching pad for effective program facilitation. That information will help the facilitator to adopt and implement the appropriate program to ensure that the desired goals are met. The planning progress will help the facilitator to develop a road map of the progress along with the determination of whether to use an internal or external program for optimal success. Empowering the stakeholders is of great value in clarifying what they want to achieve.

Once the program has been determined, effective program facilitators will adopt a customized approach for implementation. Crafting an implementation plan and pedagogical strategy to ensure maximal engagement and inclusion of the participants is critical to the program’s success. The journey is equally important to that which will be achieved. In addition, the stakeholders need to understand the purpose of the programming and their role. Effective program facilitation involves helping all members of the group sharing in the experience to develop a clear understanding of the objective, process, and timeline. It is also important for the group to understand that the sharing of ideas and asking questions is welcomed. They each support the creation of new knowledge. Effective facilitators should possess and demonstrate numerous skills throughout the entire facilitation process. Some of the most important include:

Effective Communication Skills

Active Listening

Quality Observation Skills

Effective Discussion Guidance

Demonstrating Positive Energy

Energetic Personality

Unbiased Objectivity


Creating a Safe Environment for Sharing and Discussion

Rapport Building

Developing Group Synergy

Demonstrating Positivity


Promoting and Providing Constructive Feedback

Encouraging Inquiry


Effective Utilization of Time

Maintaining Constant Neutrality

Asking vs. Telling

Program facilitation is a necessary process in creating new knowledge, managing challenge, continuous growth, and life-long learning and improvement. A skilled facilitator implementing mission driven programming can supercharge a team’s performance.

The partners at Executive Management Partners (EMP) have extensive experience in program facilitation. We understand the varied needs and challenges of teams and programs. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate and assist with personalized solutions to your programming and program facilitation needs that are empowering and lasting, and that make your life less complicated. As Brian Tracy said, “Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.” EMP will provide program facilitation to help you acquire new and better forms of knowledge!


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