Whilst the title of ‘facilitator’ has a fairly low entry point, the discipline of facilitation calls for some pretty strong competencies. I’ve been involved in facilitation since 2009, addressing such issues as conflict, performance improvement, strategy, change and more – and there is a continual need to develop your facilitator competencies.
The IAF’s core facilitator competencies
The IAF’s Core Facilitator Competencies framework is a set of skills, knowledge, and behaviours that facilitators must have in order to be successful facilitating in a wide variety of environments.
The six key facilitator competencies are:
- Create Collaborative Client Relationships
- Plan Appropriate Group Processes
- Create and Sustain a Participatory Environment
- Guide Group to Appropriate and Useful Outcomes
- Build and Maintain Professional Knowledge
- Model Positive Professional Attitude
I commissioned Neil to design and lead intrapreneurship and commercialism training for senior and middle managers at Chelmsford City Council. The sessions were meticulously planned, tailored expertly to our needs and brilliantly delivered. Neil brings a refreshingly different approach, he is motivational, inspirational and engages expertly with different learning styles. He comes very highly recommended.
After only one session with Neil I came away feeling more focused and confident than I had in a while. He gave me some great ideas, a bit of constructive provocation and the beginnings of my career plan for the next five years. He’s already been as good as his word and hooked me up with a potential mentor and has shown great integrity. Neil seems pretty unique in that he doesn’t seem to be out for himself but rather the betterment of local government. A big thumbs up from me.
Neil made a thought provoking presentation at the Compliance conference AIM Norway organized in Farris Bad. Not only it was excellent, but it was almost as if it was not a presentation but a real conversation. It left me enthusiastic about the discussions it brought up.
As someone who helps guide and develop salespeople in the world of New Business Development, Neil is equally fanatical about effective account management. His approaches are proven and effective and have been applied in numerous environments including his work with Tribal – a global professional services company. Having known Neil for 15 months, his coaching and mentoring style has been particularly useful in assisting me in strengthening relationships with existing and new clients – and seeing him apply his knowledge in a hands-on manners means that I have learnt a lot from him during the time I have known him and plan on learning a whole lot more!
I had an amazing experience when I attended the speech and the workshops that Neil gave in Cairo last month. But this is the least that could be said as he doesn’t hesitate to help you when you ask him or even if he knows you need something that you haven’t asked about. He has helped me and my partners to reach better grounds through his collaborative intelligence module which has helped us kick-start our own startup. He doesn’t just TALK about collaboration, he actively demonstrates it!
Before we actually met, Neil already had very positive reputation on his approach and teaching style in his previous engagements in Croatia. Knowing my people from Comping and having clear view of what they need (not what they expect to get), we worked closely as we agreed on focal points of his ‘intervention’. Combining his practical experience with creative and provocative teaching style, Neil fully confirmed his great reputation as a trainer and managed to incite and engage our people in fun, approachable and interesting ways. But, even with such a flexible and relaxed approach, he didn’t risk losing their focus on the most critical point – emphasize personal accountability for the common organizational goals. I hope that we’ll have a chance to jointly add much more value to our people in the following months and years.
We invited Neil to deliver a workshop on intrapreneurial ecosystems and company culture and I must congratulate ourselves for this decision, the workshop was brilliant and a highlight of our Intrapreneurship Conference as per delegates feedback. It is a pleasure to work with Neil, and I hope we will have many more collaborations in the future.
I was totally prepared to just another boring session … 30 minutes of role-playing … another 45 minutes of deliberating which shade of red actually I am … and so on … and eventually 5pm will approach soon enough. But from the first introductory minutes Mr Neil Fogarty successfully got my attention and kept it alive till the end of the day. I have got my fair share of various workshops, but not many of them were as vivid as this one and not many of them gave me another perspective to old issues. A day was too short at the end … loads of fun successfully delivered new insights! Thanks Neil!
As my professor for Entreprenuership at ESLSCA, I found Mr. Neil Fogarty to be uniquely capable of capturing my attention and helping me learn confidently. His tactics of open space learning and free contribution helped me in understanding and archiving good grades in his subject. Comments from many of my classmates confirm that I am not alone in this impression of Mr. Neil Fogarty. This university has many fine professors, and Mr. Fogarty is a credit to it.
Being mentored by Neil is not always comfortable but the challenges posed are always focused on exposing the underlying currents that constrain or inhibit positive action. There is no room to either hide or procrastinate so whilst I whole heartily endorse Neil as an effective business mentor, beware, he will challenge you and take you out of your comfort zone.
I had the chance to meet a really impressing speaker yesterday who is a walking treasure of experience and knowledge about intrapreneurship and organizational change, how to transform organizational dinosaurs and arouse the entrepreneur within employees. Neil has totally owned the stage and after his talk I was full of thoughts, ideas. Neil made a big impression and I am admiring him for what he did/is doing, what he knows and for his openness to share that experience and knowledge. I am looking forward to future cooperation with him. Unicorns do exist! 😉
Neil is one of the most charismatic and interesting people that I came across. He is one of the best presenters that I ever saw in action with a great ability to keep his audience engaged through his entire lecture/presentation. Neil is a pure leader, Intrapreneur and entrepreneur, always demonstrated out of the box thinking, business orientation, leadership and consistency.
It is not an easy task to facilitate a short workshop and to meet clients desires while creating the environment for insight gathering. It requires great knowledge and skills to pin-point those specific needs. And when you get all that you wanted, even more for some, with loads of fun, then you have to thank Mr Neil Fogarty for delivering The Workshop.
I was lucky to meet Neil at 2 great events in Egypt in 2017 organized by MSA University; Leadership and Organization Development Conference and Entrepreneurship Hub. I was truly impressed by his intense knowledge and interesting way of delivery. During the panel discussion, his success story was an inspiration for our young entrepreneurs and his profound experience is something to surely learn from. I’m definitely looking forward to another fruitful co-operation.
I was privileged to work closely with Neil to bring about a magnificent learning experience to our guests in the first international organization development & leadership conference, in the MEA region and the Entrepreneurship hub event, few weeks ago. Neil was one of our key speakers in both events, and I was not only impressed with his capability of delivering a truly effective and memorable learning experience, but how beautifully he constructs and designs the whole experience to be enlightening, engaging and enjoyable. He is definitely an expert in his field and I used to think of him as a genius and highly innovative speaker. Working with Neil is an emblem for real partnership, and he is a true partner who is really keen on delivering value to you, your audience and your team.
Working with Neil was truly inspiring. Personal and professional benefits gained through his workshops will have a deep impact on my future decisions and interpersonal skills. I hope that I will have another chance to work with Neil again someday and find additional motivation in his unconventional sessions.
I had the pleasure to attend a workshop given by Neil about “Entrepreneurship – Collaborative Intelligence”. Moreover, My business partner & I received a very informative startup mentoring session from Neil which had lasted for more than 30 minutes. I have to admit that Neil’s coaching skills are beyond expectations. The content was very well organized and presented. The workshop was given in a very interactive manner. As a result of the workshop and the mentoring, my partner and I have managed to spot multiple ways to scale our business.
We had the pleasure of working with Neil mid-October 2016 to further develop our framework for Corporate Social Responsibilty. Neil demonstrates impressive knowledge in this field and he is very skilled in transferring this in a practical way to our business needs. I can strongly recommend Neil.
I met Neil the first time in the Organisation Development & Leadership Conference in Cairo. In person he is very attentive and very willing to help, he creates opportunities for growth for all the people around. I have personally learned a lot from his open selfless attitude. On a professional level his breadth of experience plays a great role in the customized solutions that he provides. I recommend Neil as a powerful consultant in the field of leadership and as an equipped speaker for leadership related topics.
Neil facilitated host of sessions for 120 of our retail sales employees at various levels and did a splendid job of it. The feed-backs were testimonial to the amount of effort gone in to design and customize the program and linking it to the business goals. His ability to translate complex concepts into simple to understand methodologies was the biggest asset. I would recommend him for sales and business development programs
The interim health market is a relatively new area of business for us, and in the absence of a Health Business Development Manager, Neil has been absolutely instrumental in providing me with support and guidance as to how I can build our health offering. This has resulted in the establishment of solid and trusted relationships both internally within Tribal and externally with our associates, interims and clients. Neil’s introduction of 1:1 mentoring and coaching sessions are a testament to his 100% dedication to developing and supporting his team. Neil’s approach is very much “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. His empathic nature and his ability to bring a fresh perspective enables you to refocus on the task at hand and to derive key actions to achieve your goals. Without a shadow of a doubt, Neil is a huge asset to us and to anyone looking for an energetic and enthusiastic personality to develop, mentor or coach their business team.
It's common sense but...
I been facilitated by various professionals - and can honestly point to only two occasions when I felt that the facilitator was demonstrating the six competencies above.
The six key crimes that I have witnessed the most would be:
- Failing to build the right relationship with key stakeholders
- Being formulaic or 'off the shelf' rather than build something designed to align to client needs
- Viewing the session / workshop as a single event rather than part of a development journey
- Having the facilitator as the 'star turn' rather than losing their ego and focusing on group outcomes
- Using old material with out-of-date examples and case studies to demonstrate key points
- Displaying a cavalier attitude to the session (lack of preparation, lack of engagement, inappropriate words & behaviours)
As someone who hasn't gone through a process of becoming certified in a number of toolkits or acquired lots of shiny badges in order to do what I do, it was interesting to see how well (on the face of it) I am faring when looking at the facilitator competencies set out by the IAF.
I know that it's an ongoing journey - but it's nice to know that I am hitting the headline statements.