Knowledge Hub groups usually have a number of facilitators who are responsible for a range of activities to help support and manage them. Most take on the facilitation role voluntarily and tend to be the people who first discover the need for the group. They take charge of getting the group up and running, inviting people to join, populating it with thought-provoking content and generally looking after members.
Groups operate in a range of ways (see our previous blog on the 7 different uses for a Knowledge Hub group), and the facilitation role is not set in stone. It’s flexible and can be adapted to suit the unique needs of the group members, the number of members involved, the group activities undertaken and of course the facilitator themselves.
No matter what facilitation style is used, facilitators play a key role in making things happen in groups, and without them a group is likely to lose its momentum very quickly. The Community Roundtable State of Community Management Report 2014 found that groups with dedicated facilitators were almost twice as likely to be able to measure value and saw significantly more engagement than those without. Facilitators bring people together, engage members into taking part in the group’s discussion and activity, and encourage them to share their experience and knowledge with the group.
While speaking to some of our Knowledge Hub members and facilitators, we found out what the facilitation role helps them to do, and what they value most about being a facilitator.
Based on your feedback, here are 10 benefits of being a group facilitator for you and your organisation.
1. Grow your professional network through connecting to a broad range of people in your work area. This might include people you know well and new contacts you’ve not come across before.
2. Progress your own work priorities in an efficient manner by using the group to draw upon your members’ knowledge to get quick responses and gain an overview of what works well and what’s not working so well.
3. Promote your organisation, project or programme of work by attracting a larger membership and making the group and its aims and outcomes visible to other interested or related groups and people.
4. Be known as a forward-thinking, listening organisation that doesn’t operate in silos and uses genuine collaboration to connect with colleagues and customers.
5. Raise your own professional profile in your field and sector and gain a good understanding of who's who and who’s doing what. Become a source of knowledge for the latest thinking.
6. Increase your personal development by learning new and transferrable skills, including online facilitation, content curation, community engagement, and communication.
7. Increase your professional development by keeping on top of the latest news, issues, challenges and best practice in your field.
8. Save time and money by reducing the need for costly face-to-face meetings and continue to gain all of the benefits of meeting new people and networking with like-minded colleagues.
9. Become an influencer and develop in a leadership role by being a spokesperson, directing your knowledge and passion – and that of the group – to progress towards positive change externally.
10. Broaden your network connections via the wider Knowledge Hub community and connect to other people from different areas of work. Help co-facilitate other groups which are dealing with topics linked to your key interests.
If you’d like to benefit from any or all of the above, why not get in touch with one of the facilitators of a group you’re most interested and passionate about and find out about joining their facilitation team.
If you’ve discovered other benefits for becoming a group facilitator we’d love to hear from you, so do please comment below.