November 18, 2020
087: Facilitation is about being in service with Jay Melone
Save yourself time and download my one-page summary of the episode instead of making your own notes.
Great facilitators aren’t always subject matter experts. In fact, they may know very little about the workshop’s topic. A successful facilitator acts in service of others and knows when to lead from the back, as well as from the front.
Jay Melone believes that being a great facilitator requires a unique mindset. He stresses that to be a good facilitator, you must practice curiosity, patience and leave your concerns about being the expert behind. After meeting Jay earlier this year, I couldn’t wait to talk to him about his approach to facilitating, both as an expert in the field and as a “shy extrovert”.
Jay is the Founder and Principal Facilitator at New Haircut, an innovation strategy firm. He shared many thoughtful insights into a facilitator’s role and how you can effectively lead a group, even if you’re not comfortable being the centre of attention. I hope this episode inspires you to step outside of your comfort zone and facilitate with confidence
Find out about
- Why being curious makes a great facilitator
- The difference between an expert and a facilitator
- Why people are now willing to prepare for workshops ahead of time
- How to leverage your personality type as a facilitator
- How to design an agenda for measurable workshop success
- Why Jay encourages everyone to step out of their comfort zones
- How to trust your workshop’s design
Feeling inspired by the conversation in this episode? We can have our own – take a seat at my virtual table as part of a Mastermind Group.
A huge thank you must go to SessionLab, the sponsor of Workshops Work. Claim your free two months of SessionLab Pro now – this deal is exclusive to Workshops Work listeners!
Questions and Answers
01:28 When did you start calling yourself a facilitator?
02:27 What makes a good facilitator
06:15 To what extent is a facilitator a mix between a journalist and an engineer?
09:40 What is your experience placing yourself as a facilitator? Do you facilitate from the centre of the conversation or from the side?
20:01 What did you learn about being a participant in an 1,800 person workshop?
21:36 Do you think it’s easier or more difficult for an introvert, or shy facilitator, to guide groups online versus on-site?
28:42 What would you advise aspiring facilitators who think they’re too shy to be a good facilitator?
34:56 What makes a workshop fail?
36:06 How do you know when your workshop is failing due to a design problem or an external problem caused by the group?
44:01 What is your favourite exercise?
48:35 How do you trust yourself to lead your team?
52:51 What is the main takeaway from our conversation?