Think I can’t handle your project? 

Think again 

One of the beauties of facilitation is that it can be applied anywhere to pretty much any situation. I don’t have to be an industry expert in any industry. Nor do I need to hold a vast amount of knowledge about the ins and outs of a particular sector.

A facilitator’s expertise is in the process not the content.

As a facilitator, I am pretty good at working with you to learn what I need to plan and prepare your session to make sure it goes well.  

Facilitation for the construction industry

I am not a construction expert (although I can knock up a pretty good Lego house!).  

facilitation in construction
(Small confession – my son built this!)

So when Gerald Crittle, from GCTraining Group (a not-for-profit membership organisation which offers training for construction businesses in Gloucestershire) wanted to run some workshops for the owners and managers of construction companies, he approached Jewell Facilitation to support him.  

Gerald wanted to help construction firm owners explore the use of digital tools to improve business performance. It was to be a two-year project with a series of sessions around leadership and management skills using technology. Gerald wanted an independent, non-judgemental facilitator for the project. He was very specific that he didn’t need a technical expert to teach the tools themselves. Nor did he need a construction industry specialist. Instead, he required expert help to support his plan to run peer-to-peer support group type activities and not as traditional training courses.  

“I wanted somebody who was independent and non-judgmental. Someone not from a construction background, not specifically a digital expert. I needed somebody who would accept people’s points of view without jumping in and questioning them. Something I may have done if I was running the session! 

That Independence was really important to the project.” 

A different skill set 

Gerald appreciated the different skill set that I was able to bring to his project, as well as my overall approach to business improvement and change for good.   

Gerald and I worked to plan 30 workshops – through the pandemic – which meant a lot of the sessions would be online. In the end, only 2 were run as in-person sessions. Planning these types of workshops well was key to their smooth and effective delivery.

“Helene’s input was excellent, especially around ideas about delivering the sessions in different ways.” 

To get the best out of the sessions, it is important to make sure the questions and directions for activities are well explained and well managed. Taking the time beforehand to understand the aims of the project was key to making it a success. 

“Helene brought a great deal of clarity to the project. Particularly during the online workshops such as explaining how to use the technology for people who weren’t used to it. It could be about explaining the breakout activity that we were about to do it in groups. Helene was also invaluable behind the scenes, for example by making sure that I wasn’t faced with six questions at once! Helene set clear boundaries to ensure we could move on” 

Including all the construction voices 

Gerald was undeniably impressed with how we made sure that everyone in the sessions was included.  From technical issues that stopped people’s voices being heard, to group management and ensuring that certain voices weren’t heard too much! 

facilitation in construction quoteOne of the things that Helene brought which I hadn’t initially thought about was being inclusive. She was able to ensure that all participants were able to learn and to contribute. 

It was a pleasure to facilitate these sessions and work closely with Gerald on this innovative programme for construction businesses. In this case, alongside Gerald’s in-depth knowledge of the construction industry and its needs, my facilitation skills brought independence and inclusivity.

Likewise, those skills provided the boundaries and assistance during the sessions as well as clarity, assistance and ideas during design. As a result, Gerald felt that having Jewell Facilitation alongside him throughout helped make the project a success. 

Gerald believes that my approach would be useful for any organisation or group of people that needed to create space for radical change.  

Facilitation is not just for the construction industry

“I also think any company going through a change program, something like this digital work, where you need to bring people together and you don’t want to be dictatorial. But the same time you want to have some sort of radical change. I think Helene’s services would be good for people doing something similar, for example any sort of peer-to-peer activity or training program where an independent person/facilitator/something is required.  

It’s about bringing people together. 

They could be companies where there are cross-departmental conflicts are issues or something that needs to be designed across department. And again, Helene being independent is good at bringing those people together.” 

From my point of view, it was a great experience working on a longer-term project in a collaborative way. It was even nicer to hear that at the end of the sessions as Gerald said: 

“When I received thank you emails it was always to both of us. Not just to me or to Helene but to both of us about … the support that was available in the sessions.” 

Thank you Gerald for inviting me to facilitate these sessions with you! 

If you’d like to explore if my facilitation skills would be a good fit for your industry, why not book a no obligation chat with me

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