Meetings 411: Checklist for Selecting Team Building Facilitators

Team Building ChecklistWhen selecting team building consultants and facilitators, one size does not fit all. It is important to identify the right supplier to produce the targeted results your company (or client) wants to achieve.

Before beginning your search for a facilitator, develop a checklist with specific decision-making criteria. It has been said, if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there. Set clear objectives to help you identify the facilitators who will be the best fit.

Ask yourself "What are your goals? Do you want to:

  • improve cross-functional teamwork?
  • generate strategies to resolve specific issues?
  • resolve conflicts?
  • get buy-in for new corporate initiatives?
  • prepare the team to support a new product launch?
  • identify new sources of revenue?

To help you achieve your objectives, use the following checklist to select team building facilitators with bench strength in the following areas: 

  1. Training and experience as a professional facilitator.
  2. Experience with companies in your industry.
  3. Perspectives gained from working with clients from other industries and countries to broaden your team's horizon.
  4. A range of facilitation tools and strategy.
    Avoid one-trick ponies who will have difficulty responding to group dynamics and emerging needs.
  5. Instructional design skills to create or customize an approach that is appropriate for your team.
  6. An understanding of the phases of team development and the specific tasks that must be navigated at each phase.
  7. Strategies for engaging the executive team before and during team building.
  8. The agility to customize on the fly.
    There are many facilitators who have been trained only to deliver specific programs from a leader's guide. This may not meet your needs.
  9. A commitment to ensuring team safety and appropriate insurance.
  10. An understanding of adaptations that will be needed for team members with physical challenges, allergies and other special needs.
  11. Specific criteria for forming teams.
  12. An awareness of local legislation and regulations.
    (i.e. re: booking venues, alcohol consumption, host liability, etc.)
  13. The willingness to assist with event management logistics and venue selection.
    Cvent has a suite of tools to assist in these areas and you. Ensure that your facilitator is willing to provide input about the specific logistics and space requirements for your team-building retreat or session. 
  14. Proven debriefing skills.
  15. A clear follow-up process.
  16. A variety of programs in a number of destinations to leverage the rapport they build with your team for future initiatives.

Always select a true consulting partner vs an order taker who will tell you what you want to hear in order to secure the business. Keeping this checklist in mind will significantly improve the effectiveness of future team building initiatives.

What would you add to this checklist? 

For more information, also consult Corporate Event Planning: Working with Speakers and Facilitators on Cvent Blog.

Photo Credit: Team Building, Executive Oasis International

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