The success of any team building event depends on an experienced facilitator. A team building facilitator must have excellent leadership qualities, effective communication skills, and the ability to motivate and inspire a group of people. They must also create an environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions.
Unfortunately, not every team building company has facilitators up to the task. Some facilitators concentrate on “cheesy” activities that typically get eyes rolling as soon as employees hear the dreaded phrase “team building.” The result? An event that defeats its purpose—rather than helping to build a team, an inexperienced facilitator or camp counselor can become a team destroyer.
Doing an online search for the “best team building events near me,” you will come up with a long list of so-called “fun activities.” These can range from silly ice-breaker questions, cringe-worthy two truths and a lie, an egg drop game, the human knot, or the “get-me-out-of-here” team meditation or yoga event.
Here’s what usually happens. First, a “camp counselor” prints a list of these activities and tries to use them. However, a lack of experience usually results in failure. Even simple games end up getting eyes rolling. And typically, this happens when team leaders try to organize cheap team building activities or think they can do it themselves.
The article explores the differences between these two positions—team facilitator vs. camp counselor. Then, we will examine the seven qualities every effective facilitator should display. At the end of the article, you can make an informed decision about which is best for your needs.
What is a Team Building Facilitator?
A team building facilitator organizes, oversees, and runs team building events. They liaise with organizations to discuss their needs, budget requirements, and the structured type of activities to plan. The facilitator starts as the leader but has the skills to ensure the team members become the focus.
In this way, experienced and effective team building facilitators play an essential role in helping teams build a strong foundation for success. They are pivotal in ensuring that the entire team is involved and the team building games reach their goal—to create a cohesive team.
What is a Camp Counselor?
A camp counselor typically works at a summer camp, organizing activities for children and young adults. They create lessons, plan events, and take the lead in activities like sports, arts and crafts, swimming, hiking, and more. Usually, their focus is only on ensuring everyone has fun.
Of course, no team building events company advertises they use camp counselors. However, team building companies employ staff who do work comparable to a camp counselor, not an effective facilitator. They either lack experience, follow a set script, or come up with “cheesy” camp games.
Team Building Facilitator vs. Camp Counselor
What is the difference between a team building facilitator and a camp counselor? First, both focus on providing leadership and guidance to their respective teams. However, an effective facilitator has experience organizing corporate events focusing on fun games that develop skills like leadership, communication, and problem-solving.
On the other hand, a camp counselor typically has little experience in organizing team building events for companies. Any team activity is typically only focused on having fun. Typically, there is little focus on developing skills useful for working together in a cohesive team.
Why Choose Outside Facilitators for Team Building Activities
The best reason to choose an outside facilitator for team building activities is that expert facilitators know how to get everyone involved. From the CEO to the secretary, an outside facilitator treats everyone equally. This ensures that everyone’s opinion and ideas receive equal consideration.
Furthermore, providing a fun environment where employees feel relaxed and safe encourages everyone to participate freely. This helps to promote trust and mutual understanding and break down barriers between management and staff.
A mistake many team leaders make is thinking that they can organize effective team building events themselves. However, in-house facilitators find it difficult to break away from the corporate hierarchy. Therefore, a department manager may avoid involving someone in a more senior position.
Therefore, an outside facilitator will involve the entire team and ensure everyone works toward a common goal.
Seven Qualities of a Motivating Team Building Facilitator
Having an experienced professional facilitate activities for team building is the only way to guarantee success. Organizing corporate events is not cheap. However, when done properly, they can be one of the most important investments in your organization. This ensures that you get the benefits from team building exercises.
When done properly, team building events can improve communication skills, build stronger relationships, encourage creative thinking, and help resolve conflicts. But achieving this requires a facilitator with the proper qualities and experience.
Here are seven qualities you should look for in a professional to facilitate team building events.
1. Team building facilitators are fully prepared
The best team building facilitators prepare so that activities that are tailored to each client’s specific needs. By having a clear strategy, they develop creative ways to engage participants and unlock the potential of team members. In addition, successful facilitators plan and know which exercises are proven to be effective in helping teams work together.
The skill of facilitators—and this is where camp counselors fail—is to ease participants out of their comfort zones. This quality is crucial for individuals to learn new skills, develop out-of-the-box thinking, and respect others.
Therefore, a facilitator must take a customized approach for each organization to create an environment conducive to learning new skills in a relaxed way.
Related reading: What are the six building blocks of effective team building?
2. Team building facilitators are temporary leaders
Successful team building facilitators have strong leadership skills to organize, supervise, and execute events. To do this, the facilitator must understand team dynamics and be able to provide guidance and constructive feedback. This ultimately helps teams reach their goals faster.
There are several reasons facilitators are better than inexperienced “camp counselors.” These are the following:
- Organize the location where the event will take place
- Have all materials and equipment in place before everyone arrives
- Welcome participants and encourage all to take part actively
- Explain the activity and the objective
- Answer any questions team members have
- Oversee the execution of the event
The result is that facilitating a team building event helps a company to improve communication and efficiency within the workplace. It also fosters better relationships between coworkers.
Team building image: An effective facilitator at work
3. Effective team building facilitators are coaches
A team building facilitator must take on the role of a coach. The facilitator puts the participants in focus as quickly as possible. As a coach, the facilitator has the qualities to applaud achievements, encourage participation, and provide constructive feedback. This ensures smooth running, where a friendly atmosphere and healthy competition can flourish.
As an exceptional coach, the facilitator directs attention to the participants. As a result, they can effortlessly make each team member feels like the hero of the activity or event.
4. The best team facilitators know how to get everyone involved
The best team facilitators understand how to get everyone involved without pressuring anyone to participate. They can do this regardless of age, ability level, prior knowledge, or position in the organization. They also know when and how to create a comfortable atmosphere for open communication and collaboration.
Successful team building facilitation also involves careful listening, asking questions, and ensuring no one is left out. This takes tremendous skill because not everyone feels comfortable at the start of a team building event. This is especially true if a “camp counselor” organized the previous one.
5. Effective team building facilitators are unbiased
One of the strongest reasons to use a trusted team building company is that its facilitators are unbiased. This is difficult to achieve with an inexperienced “camp counselor” or in-house facilitator. For example, someone in a junior position may avoid involving the CEO in a fun activity.
Using a company like Full Tilt ensures unbiased objectivity in any team event. This eliminates suspicions of bias toward some individuals. And no one can accuse the facilitator of working to a pre-determined plan or allowing bias to affect judgment.
6. Experienced team building facilitators do not organize “eyeball-rolling” events
Do employees roll their eyes at the mention of a team building event? If so, you must use a more experienced team building facilitator. Effective facilitators avoid events that make participants feel awkward, bored, or unable to participate.
Simply put—we understand that “eyeball rolling” events are not productive and never strengthen a team. They can waste company resources because they fail to achieve their goal.
Only experienced facilitators know how to create beneficial activities that bring out everyone’s best qualities so everyone can work constructively towards a goal.
Related reading: How to avoid organizing activities that everyone hates.
7. Full Tilt Team Facilitators are Highly Experienced
One reason to choose Full Tilt is that our team of facilitators is highly experienced in organizing productive team building activities. We have worked with thousands of organizations, ranging from small offices to many fortune 500 companies in North America. There are no “camp counselors” working in Full Tilt.
Every facilitator in our team is trained to deliver an exceptional experience. Unfortunately, this is never the case when having less experienced people organize team events. Our facilitators help create lasting change in the way teams work together. This is done by helping team members understand each other better, identify areas of improvement, and develop strategies for working more effectively together.
Let Full Tilt Team Development Organize Your Next Team Building Event
Team building is an important part of any organization. It helps to build trust, foster collaboration, and create a positive work environment. But it must be done right. That is why you should call Full Tilt Team Development today to organize your next event.
Our team of expert facilitators has the training and experience to ensure that your team building event is successful. In addition, our facilitators are highly experienced in creating activities that bring out everyone’s best qualities. This allows everyone to work constructively towards a common goal.