Train The Trainer – Tips for Facilitators

December 30th, 2015

Facilitating a team building event is a difficult juggling act. Especially if you are the one here to train the trainer. You want to keep everyone’s energy excited as they move towards the goal of communication, but your presence can’t overwhelm the process. Then you’d be just another lecture.

Finding that balance can be a difficult task, but establishing a concrete goal from the beginning of the planning process will make this a much easier process. This goal is usually established with a sit down meeting between you and the management team or the direct supervisor. In this meeting, you should have a great number of questions answered.

Below you will find a list of tips for facilitators to help you bring together the perfect event.

The two most important questions to have answered are 1. What are the larger issues as work? i.e. communication, motivation, or production, and 2. What specific outcomes would they like to see? If you are the supervisor in charge then you need to analyze your team’s characteristics and formulate a plan on how you would like to train the trainer and mitigate them.

As you continue to plan out the activities it’s important to receive feedback from the members of the team that will be included in the team building event.  As a facilitator, you don’t want the games to be considered trite or pointless by your team. Asking your team’s opinion shows you value their input. Newer teams may have to be shown a list of options.

Center the activity, and icebreakers, around a theme that reinforces the goals and values of the company. Themes like giving back, community awareness/involvement, innovative problem solving are some good themes to use. Activities like Odyssey Teams Helping Hands, and the Board Meeting help to bring teams together through philanthropic give-back activities and promote social awareness.

Present and practice the team building activity before the event. As a facilitator, you should be proficient about the rules, instructions, and applications of the games, or main activity. Having a dry run with just a few people can help foresee any complications that could arise when you are trying to facilitate an event with fifty for more participants.

After you have clearly presented the goals, and began the activity, it is time to use the most successful tip for facilitators, become invisible. Ask poignant questions and let the participants engage one another. This is their team after all, and they should be the ones to form the bonds that will ultimately lead to a more motivated workplace.

De-briefing is the single most important moment in the events facilitation. It is here where all the dots are connected for you and your employees. During this time is when the participants process their actions, feelings, and responses to the entire team building event. After you’ve presented your end goals it is time to hear from the team.