Welcome to the new world of work, where hybridism becomes the norm. It doesn’t mean some days you work at home and some days you work in an office – which so far has been the way it’s being used by many companies.
What it should eventually evolve into is a pattern that maximizes individual flexibility with maximum productivity. If a person is working “solely” -e.g., doing individual research, analysis, writing, etc., then the place of work may not matter and being at home may make some people more productive. If your project requires collaboration – i.e., where people share ideas, brainstorm to reach a decision, critical analysis, etc. (including onboardings, restructuring jobs, redesigning products that requisites several different perspectives, then working in an office makes sense.
To get the most out of the collaborative activities, the leader should focus on the quality of the facilitation process. Braden Kelly, in Effective facilitation for all, notes that three are three key areas that leaders have to focus on for effectiveness:
- Great expectations. Have each person and the team identify and communicate their expectations. This may require personal preparation by each participant. Leaders should take into account the eight Ps, which include: processes being used (e.g., strategic planning and decision), place (environment), purpose (the why?), perspectives (e.g., vision, mission, and goals); product to deliver, people (e.g., what are their intention, level of participation, etc.) attention, and practice (i.e., the leader’s ability to handle these eight elements).
- Engagement. Participation should include active listing and encouragement of a culture that stimulates conversation and collaboration.
- Facilitation with purpose: Fostering collaboration and learning; encouraging each other to make the most of their time together; improving productivity, boosting group dynamics, and encouraging team competency.
If you’re a team leader, think about these issues. As we develop a cadence of working in the office for collaboration, think of facilitation as a presentation in which our goal is to continuously improve how we maximize engagement, satisfaction and productivity. Use these practices:
- Listen first and speak second
- Lead with effective communication
- Manage time and track deadlines
- Ask intentional questions
- Invite others to engage
- Create a focused and psychologically safe environment
- Provide unbiased objectivity
- Act as a decision in group discussion.
Feel free to share your challenges with us, so we can help you increase your facilitation effectiveness.