Teamwork is a fundamental value that every facilitator must promote to all participants in every facilitated session, program, or workshop. In order to achieve the objectives of the group, they have to share common interests and perceptions. Depending on the kind of facilitator that manages and directs the group, the participants can easily attain their shared goals with cooperation. A skilled and seasoned facilitator knows very well how to bring each member together, making them work as a group rather than on an individual approach.
Understanding the Concept of Group Synergy
As the saying goes, “Two heads are better than one.” The concept of teamwork and cooperation is what is otherwise known as synergy. Technically defined, synergy pertains to the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Simply put, it is a situation where all participants cooperate and work together to achieve a positive result. It is always true that a collaborative effort of every group member can bring about a bigger and better accomplishment compared to an individual effort.
Synergy occurs when two or more individuals with different backgrounds and skills work together. Many organizations believe in the powerful concept of group synergy. In fact, a lot of these organizations have been applying the concept. Group synergy is also powerfully effective in facilitated sessions and programs. It is the power of synergy that makes it possible for the group to achieve their objectives in a particular session. And of course, skilled and effective facilitation increases the synergy of the group.
Creating Synergy in Facilitation
As a facilitator, how can you help create synergy in the group you are supervising? A synergetic atmosphere mostly depends on how you effectively guide and manage the group.
In order to generate a participatory environment, the members must be divided into two groups seated either facing each other or in an arena-type of seating arrangement. When they see each other’s faces, a conversation is easier to initiate. For everyone to feel welcome to get involved in the group, the facilitator must always keep the room or venue safe and free from interruptions and unnecessary distractions.
For a large group, have them work in smaller groups. If you have a small number of participants, let them work in pairs or by threes. Always encourage them to be open to their group members and respect each other’s views. When they learn to value every opinion, a group consensus is more likely to be achieved. Make them understand first that each and every individual has unique strengths and talents that the group needs to achieve the goals.
An appreciative facilitator is an effective facilitator. Always praise and recognize the group for their outstanding qualities and skills, their creativity, and efficiency. Encourage them to enhance more on their strong points and develop a natural skill. This will boost the confidence of the members and inspire them to give their best.
Brainstorming Creates Synergy
Brainstorming is probably one of the most common and effective facilitation techniques that any facilitator can benefit from. This method is also one of the best ways to generate synergy in the group.
For example, if you are facilitating a seminar on customer service to a group of entrepreneurs, you can come up with a quiz to be initially answered by each participant individually. This activity should act either as an opener for the next topic for discussion or as a reinforcement of the topic at hand. This quiz may be about hypothetical questions and customer service scenarios. Once they have completed the quiz with their own answers, start grouping them depending on the number of participants you have. Instruct them to share their individual answers and that each sub-group must arrive at a unified answer that they will present to everyone at the end of the brainstorming activity. This kind of example demonstrates a synergetic environment in a session.
An effective facilitator believes in cooperation so it is easier for the group to achieve the desired goals. Creating group synergy will not be that difficult if the facilitator values teamwork and shares this value with the participants. Many facilitated sessions and meetings become successful because of the belief in the concept of synergy.