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Want To Be A Change Agent? Then Here Are Four Things To Do Well. Part II: Facilitate

In a recent meeting, Peter Van Buren, President of TerraLogos Energy Group (www.terralogoseg.com) and Director of Sales and Marketing for Efficient Home, Inc. brought up four duties that anyone who wants to make and lead substantive changes must perform well and sustain. By its very nature, business and sales involve the on-going management of change. Peter has published his blog on the topic . He and I worked on the additional content below for this four-part blog series.  For Part I of this series, go here.

Facilitation is a skill that requires asking questions, testing for understanding and getting everyone in a meeting involved in discussions. It is a powerful way to teach because it enables people to learn by understanding rather than by being force-fed and lectured to. It also sends a message that their intelligence is recognized rather than overlooked. Facilitation involves your participants in the discussion so that they do not feel as if you are talking down to them. Asking people their reaction to the coming change gives valuable feedback on its impact and on the potential ways and timing of implementation. Facilitation can generate understanding, acceptance, ownership and hopefully enthusiasm. Facilitators ask open-ended questions-questions that require some thought to answer, not just a simple “yes” or “no” answer.  The questions that generate “yes” or “no” answers are closed-ended and good for prosecutors, not facilitators.