Blog FPO

Listening to Lead

Most of us are familiar with a traditional leadership model, a bureaucratic one that leads from the top down. Decisions are made from the leaders and passed down the line to be implemented. While this leadership style has its place and purpose, in facilitation work we often challenge people to embrace a different leadership style. One that’s purpose is to seek input from all and decisions owned by the group.

We call this leadership type a facilitative leader. The assumption being that the wisdom, expertise and answers to the challenging problems an organization faces, lie within the group. This leadership type requires the ability to engage a team, ask the right questions and hear all perspectives. Listening to the team’s experience, ideas and their suggested solutions allows for the full 360-degree perspective to be examined. Facilitative leaders know specific methods to draw out the team’s ideas and develop consensus around possible group-owned actions. Some of the key differences of the different leadership styles are highlighted below.

  HIERARCHICAL LEADERS

FACILITATIVE LEADER

ASSUME The leader is the authority The group has both experience and wisdom
KNOW What to do How to proceed – methods
SEEK The right decisions Decisions owned by everyone
RELY ON Individual abilities The ability of the group
EXPECT RESULTS Decisions and plans Commitment to action

Ultimately, the expected results are decisions and plans from both types of leaders, but there is one distinct difference. Those who listen to lead are able to arrive at commitment from the group to act. It is their plan, that incorporates their ideas and input. They feel heard and a respected member of the team whose insights were used to create the action plan they are ready to take part in implementing.

5 Facilitated Conversations You Can’t Afford to Put Off in 2023

As Aaron returned to a regular work schedule this week, it occurred to him that now’s the time to both reflect on our current level of facilitation knowledge and confidence, as well as take stock in those important conversations we need to have before we get too far into the minutia of the day-to-day meetings and tasks that are almost inevitably creeping into our calendars. Here are the five must-have conversations.

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Getting Smart About Research

Association execs are often tasked with choosing or even creating research on which our organizations will base important decisions, but many of us lack formal research training, which can be a little daunting! Fortunately, there's a new, free resource out that can help you develop your skills and confidence in research terminology and methods.

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By: Krista Rowe | Sep, 2 2022
Facilitation

How the Questions We Ask Effect Our Work

Often as facilitators we create questions to get to a particular outcome, to the extent that it guides the conversation in a narrow direction. Being clear about our own agenda for a question - the ways in which all questions are loaded and are directly connected to our own worldview – is super important.

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Navigating Difficult Conversations Using Nonviolent Communication

During a recent strategic planning session, participants were working in small groups when Aaron overheard a participant make a comment that didn't sit well with their colleague.  Aaron and his co-facilitator brainstormed a course of action and turned to nonviolent communication.  This is how it went.

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Event Garde Celebrates 10 Years of Client Success

In December 2011, with the goal of planning large association conferences for multiple concurrent clients, I launched Event Garde. In honor of these 10 years, we looked under the hood at just a few of the numbers to help illuminate just how far we’ve come and the mark we’ve left on the association industry (so far).

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Digital Transformation: It’s All About Culture

Digital transformation has been a hot topic for years, yet associations are still struggling to make it happen. Why is that? In our new whitepaper, we posit that it's not so much the technology part that's holding us back, it's culture, and more specifically, intentional culture change. Learn how to get that right and propel your association forward.

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