Facilitation & Leadership

Leaders offer direction; Facilitors generally should not. But how fluid is this distinction, and to what effect?
Do Leaders emerge or are they made? Are some Facilitators also Leaders? Or is the role of a Faciltator to bring about change through the agency of others – perhaps those who already have the mantle of Leadership, or perhaps others who will come to the fore via the process being facilitated?
The answer is probably that both these models apply in different circumstances.
A professional Facilitator (whether paid or not) is someone whose task is to bring forward responses from a group which has already asked for this to happen, maybe via an already established Leader.
On the other hand an informal Facilitator (usually a volunteer) may be someone who wants to get a group or interest established as an entity in itself. Such a person may well emerge from that group as a Leader.
And why are these distinctions important?
Again, the answers vary. Sometimes for instance informal facilitation is a route to significant developments which can be harnessed by, say, regeneration or other ‘official’ bodies to bring forward spokespeople for given interests. Conversely, on occasion it has been known for formal Facilitators to take upon themselves a leadership role acceptable by those who engaged them, but perhaps not by those whom they are facilitating.
The more the variables are considered, the more likely it is that the role claimed, Facilitator or Leader?, is that which is in fact being enacted.

Posted on October 27, 2005, in Arts, Culture And Heritage, Education, Health And Welfare, Equality, Diversity And Inclusion, Politics, Policies And Process, Regeneration, Renewal And Resilience, The Journal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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