The best team building facilitators are key to hosting effective and enjoyable corporate events. For a team event to be successful, each facilitator must possess several qualities. The team building facilitator becomes the leader, coach, and motivator. And to facilitate an effective team building event, they must create a friendly environment, encourage healthy competition, and keep energy levels high.
Unfortunately, many event hosts lack the essential qualities of the best team-building facilitators. During the activities, they become more like “camp counselors” rather than highly experienced and trained facilitators. They come up with cringe-worthy activities where participants feel awkward participating.
This article explores the qualities of the best team building facilitators. You will learn about the essential skills and traits that make a great team building facilitator and why they are key to successful team events.
What is an Effective Team Building Facilitator?
An effective team building facilitator organizes, plans, and hosts events. The facilitator works with organizations to plan specific team building activities so members can collaborate to achieve a common goal. During the event, an effective facilitator inspires, motivates, and encourages participation in the team building exercises.
The goal of the best team building facilitators is to create an environment conducive to teamwork. The event should be enjoyable and memorable—a fun experience where participants learn and develop skills that are transferable to the office. The best facilitators always ensure that everyone works together for the greatest good of the entire team.
Team Building Facilitator Vs. Camp Counselor
“Camp counselor” is a term used in the industry to describe team building facilitators who organize ineffective events. Typically, the poor-quality team building activities are based on pre-determined lists of “fun games.” Activities that fail to inspire and induce eye-rolls include the egg drop, helium stick, team meditation, or activities that are too competitive.
Unlike the best team building facilitators, camp counselors fail to energize a team, producing negative results. In fact, a camp counselor-type facilitator could destroy team morale and cause underlying issues to impact the entire team.
On the other hand, successful team building facilitators build relationships with organizations to develop a cohesive employee training program. This includes tailored plans to help the organization achieve its specific goals and produce high-performance teams.
Why Some Team Building Events Fail
Do you wonder why many team building programs fail? It is usually because the facilitator acts like a “camp counselor.” They organize events with unclear objectives and events that destroy collaboration and teamwork. So, the reason why some employees do not like participating in team activities is not the activities themselves. Instead, it’s the way they are organized.
Four Vital Skills of the Best Team Building Facilitators
Excellent facilitation skills are necessary for organizing the most effective team-building events. At Full Tilt Team Development, we have identified four crucial skills that all facilitators must develop.
1. Team facilitators must have excellent problem-solving skills
Organizing fun activities for a team event requires the professional facilitator to have excellent problem-solving abilities. For example, they must deal with the stress of working in diverse locations, tight timelines, or last-minute hiccups. Therefore, the best team facilitators possess the skills to understand the environment, analyze it, and make necessary adjustments.
In addition, during team building games, effective facilitation is crucial to identify and resolve quickly any issues that arise.
2. Decision-making skills
During a team building session, a skilled facilitator must demonstrate skills to make the best decisions. They must often think on their feet to ensure energy levels remain high during the event. This is impossible for “camp counselors” because they typically work from pre-planned, generic worksheets.
3. Possess good leadership skills
Full Tilt event managers have the skills to lead an entire team of people they have just met. These leadership skills are crucial for encouraging employee engagement during the event. Excellent facilitators know how to influence others positively. They can also motivate others to develop the same leadership skills.
4. Excellent communication skills
Excellent facilitation skills require the event host to be an effective communicator. For example, facilitating an event is more than shouting out commands. They must address large groups of people or communicate on a one-to-one basis. This also requires developing listening skills like active listening.
Essential Characteristics of Team Building Facilitators
A corporate event host with the four skills for effective facilitation ensures the event will achieve its goals. These skills will also help the facilitator to run high-quality team building activities that all participants will enjoy and where they will learn practical skills.
Here are the 11 characteristics that the best team building facilitators possess.
1. Team building facilitators know the importance of preparation
The most effective facilitators in team building exercises always prepare well. They understand the importance of researching the team, its objectives, and the environment. This helps them to plan activities that are suitable for the group.
Typically, camp counselors do the opposite. They usually print a list of so-called “fun team building events” from the internet. Unfortunately, this fails to take into consideration the organization’s culture, team goals, and dynamics of individual teams.
2. Team building hosts get to know the participants
The best team facilitators spend time getting to know the team members. This involves researching the company, talking with team leaders beforehand, and getting to know the participants individually. For example, there is a difference between leading a group of close workmates or organizing an event that brings together several departments.
3. They create friendly environments
One of the best ways to encourage healthy team collaboration is to ensure a friendly environment. From the start, the facilitator should be able to create an atmosphere of trust and respect. This ensures no one feels awkward or embarrassed participating. What’s the result? The team feels free to open up and share ideas without fear of judgment or criticism.
4. Event organizers get everyone involved
Effective facilitation at a corporate event requires cohesive employee engagement. It’s true—not everyone feels comfortable participating in team exercises. Therefore, the facilitator has the skills to get even the most introverted participants involved without awkwardness. They should also be able to encourage everyone to contribute ideas and opinions to boost team collaboration.
5. Team building hosts communicate clearly
The ability to communicate effectively is essential for any successful team building event. The facilitator must clearly explain tasks and objectives, listen attentively, and respond appropriately to questions or concerns from participants. They must be able to provide constructive feedback, discuss the lessons learned, and encourage group members to communicate freely.
6. Facilitators at team building are creative
The best team building facilitators know how to think outside the box. They come up with creative activities tailored to the group’s needs. For example, Full Tilt’s Mandala Leadership Challenge is a unique program using a personalized approach to adjust the activity to fit desired outcomes. All the activities are inclusive and interactive, and fun to participate in.
7. Team building facilitators keep their sense of humor
Effective facilitation during a fun team building activity requires keeping a sense of humor. Team facilitators cannot be too serious or hung up on sticking to a schedule. Therefore, knowing when to laugh at appropriate moments is crucial.
Also, humor helps break the tension when things get too serious. This is great for helping people bond and connect with each other. When people are laughing together, it creates an environment of trust and understanding, allowing them to open up more easily.
8. The best team building organizers maintain high energy levels
A crucial characteristic of the best team building facilitators is keeping the energy high, ensuring everyone stays awake and engaged. One of the real teamwork challenges during a half-day or full-day event is maintaining enthusiasm. Therefore, the host must be energetic enough to influence the energy of the entire group.
The facilitator must be able to read everyone’s mood and know when it’s time to shift gears to maintain high energy levels throughout the event. This is why creativity is a must for facilitators. They must find ways to keep people interested and energized throughout the event.
9. Effective team building event hots are flexible
Every group is different. Therefore, a good team building facilitator must be flexible enough to adjust their approach depending on the dynamics of the group. They should also be open-minded when it comes to suggestions from participants. As a result, they help create a relaxed atmosphere where creativity can flourish during team building games.
10. Successful facilitation requires being impartial
One of the benefits of hiring an external facilitator is impartiality. An effective team building facilitator should treat everyone equally—from the CEO to the secretary. Being impartial during team exercises encourages participation and team bonding, where new relationships are forged. Participants who can express themselves without bias, judgment, or criticism become more confident and creative.
11. Effective facilitators are patient during team events
Patience is a key trait for the most effective team building facilitators. Many situations call for calmness and composure during team events. Therefore, facilitators must be patient when things don’t go as planned or when technical issues arise. This way, facilitators lead by example.
Here are some of the benefits patient facilitators bring to an event:
- Reduce tensions that may arise during heated discussions or if someone becomes overly competitive
- Show how to think clearly
- Find the best ways to resolve any issues that arise during the event
- Help everyone involved focus on working toward a common goal
The Best Team Building Facilitators at Full Tilt
At Full Tilt, we understand the importance of using highly-trained, professional facilitators for team-building training. We also know that team building is an ongoing process, requiring a skilled facilitator to organize effective and enjoyable team-building events.
That is why we ensure that all our facilitators possess the skills and characteristics necessary to organize quality team building activities. That is why everyone undergoes rigorous facilitation training to ensure your event is successful. Therefore, you can rely on Full Tilt.
Call Full Tilt to Organize Your Next Team Building Event
Full Tilt is one of the top team-building companies in North America. We host events for corporate teams large and small in all major cities in the United States. However, suppose you want to organize a more exotic corporate retreat. In that case, we also plan events in Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.
Give Full Tilt a call today at 310-400-6285 or contact us online to plan an effective team event. You can be sure that our facilitators will organize activities that meet your requirements, budget, and business goals.