Friday, July 06, 2007

Fast Start -- Defining the Role of the Facilitator

Two of the questions that are being repeated in email is, "Who is the right person to facilitate a Fast Start team and what do they do?

I've already commented that your facilitator needs to be someone that is actively engaged in developing relationships or opportunities (a rainmaker or business development professional at your firm) -- but it does go a bit deeper than just that. Think teacher - mentor - leader - servant. Here are some of the critical duties of a good facilitator in a Fast Start program:
  • The facilitator is part of the team in all things including homework, goal setting, and meeting expectations.
  • The facilitator is NOT "the leader" -- simply a guide. Allow every team member the elbow room to take charge of their own destiny.
  • The facilitator never dictates how to accomplish goals. Certainly the facilitator needs to have a head full of ideas for sharing but leave final choices to the individual.
  • The facilitator needs to be comfortable in challenging team members. Sometimes individuals only need a gentle push to step up to what they wish to accomplish.
  • The facilitator needs to be willing to accompany team members on prospect and client calls if support is needed. Some of the business development process will be very new to some attorneys and having a companion, in some situations, will be encouraging.
  • The facilitator needs to open their calendar of appointments to the team(s). Allowing team members to tag along on your appointments and events is a great mentoring opportunity.
There is so much more... but this is a good start. Call it being a facilitator or being a coach -- either way the individuals in your teams must ultimately accomplish their own feats of business development.

Next: How to help your slow-starters.