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Much has been written on training, and too little has been understood about facilitation; the result of which is the words being interchangeably used. We share some differences as well as some overlaps between the two disciplines, especially as lived at IAF.
Training is the art of sending information on a specific task, skill and/or behavior in a unidirectional manner from the sender(the teacher or the subject matter expert) and the receiver (the student or the attendee).
We cannot teach people anything. We can only help them discover it within themselves
Facilitation is the art and science of pooling the wisdom and experience of the facilitator and members of a group and moving forward in a designed manner. Together, participants move through different phases to arrive at a common consensus on the outcome and way forward.
Some differences, at a glance, between these two may be:
|People involved||Teacher, Professor, Lecturer, Trainer||Facilitator|
|Roles||As defined by The Association of Talent Development, “Expert on stage”||As defined by The Association of Talent Development, “Guide on the side”|
|Experience||Only someone with in-depth knowledge, experience and expertise in the subject can train||Anyone who knows group processes can facilitate anything – meetings, outcomes, conflict resolution, etc.|
|Level of expertise||Vertical – subject matter expert on one subject, e.g. Math teacher, Psychology professor, Sales Skills trainer||Both horizontal and possibly vertical|
|Emphasis||On learning and application||On collaboration and communication|
|Mode of instruction||Tells unidirectionally||Creates a playing field for multi-directional communication and interactions|
|Aids required||PowerPoints, structures, models, process documents, graphics, videos, audios, etc.||Either none, or some props depending on the processes being employed; flipcharts and markers|
|Interaction dynamics||Gives linear instructions born of own learning and experience; Shares their expertise||Asks questions, moderates discussions, makes the participants think about how to get to the agreed upon outcomes and encourages participation and accountability; Does not bring in own view-points, opinions and knowledge; Observes group dynamics, processes, actions and results|
|Outcome achievement||Skill building through repeated action/practice; behavior building through repeated feedback||Group processes, wisdom and dynamics at play|
Lies with the trainer/teacher
|Lies with the group|
So, you are exploring facilitation as a career and life choice. While there are many ways to the top of any mountain, a clear path helps. At IAF, we have a clear, internationally recognized path of growth as a facilitator. Each of these milestones has been detailed further.
Please click the milestone below to learn more.
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