Facilitation Styles of van Maurik

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Facilitation Styles of van Maurik
Anneke Zwart, Student (University), Netherlands, Moderator
J. van Maurik argues good facilitators are those who are able to give accurate and flexible responses to their teams. He develops four styles that can be used in the facilitation process, each of which is useful in different group characteristics. An effective facilitator will be able to draw from each of the approaches depending on the needs of the group being facilitated.
Facilitation Approaches (Styles), van Maurik1: Intellectual Command. High level of facts and data input to the group, combined with a low degree of intervening into the way of interaction of the group. The facilitator needs to guide by providing clear standpoints, answers to questions, but also by challenging the group and inputting knowledge where needed. This approach is especially appropriate in teams that have clear goals but that are still demanding specialist intellect and information.
2: Creative Group Catalyst. Low degree of input of data, opinion and information together with a low intervention level into the group process. This approach is used in groups that want to find solutions to their problems themselves; they know their own strengths and weaknesses themselves. The facilitator is guiding towards accomplishing the objectives and to stimulate group members to be more creative and productive. In other words, the facilitator needs to encourage the group but in a covert way. After some guidance the facilitator need to step back and let the group members take control. This style is often used once teams are developing and becoming mature, since the more groups get used to draw conclusions themselves, the less input and intervention is needed.
3: Incentives Approach. High degree of information and data input combined with a intervention level in the interaction of the group process. This approach will be appropriate in groups where energy and commitment is lacking, where some members are clearly cynic and in groups that disagree with the tasks and goals of the group. . The facilitator is responsible to analyze the situation and after that to move the group to a positive and efficient atmosphere.
4: Supportive Coach. Also a low level of information and data input, but combined with a high degree of intervention into the group process. This style is useful in teams in which confidence is lacking. The facilitator needs to analyze and listen; he or she needs to know how and when to stimulate group members, when to help and when to select those who have difficulties in particular. This approach increases motivation though rising both group and individual confidence.
Source: Maurik, J. van, (1994)."Facilitating Excellence: Styles and Processes of Facilitation". Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 15 Iss: 8 pp. 30 - 34
 

 
Supportive Role?? What is the Basis of an Effective Facilitator?
Jolanta, Management Consultant, Poland, Member
I'm wondering what kind of data/information the faciliator should have as in a SUPPORT role as it is defined as "support" for the group. Im my view, the facilitator is responsible for the process, not for the content of the problem the group is working on. One of the most important characteristics of effective facilitator is to be out of the group, objective and supportive.
A facilitator should be a guide to the group work (process), not to the answers to the questions, as these answers should come from the group, otherwise we do not achieve real engagement from the participants.
I work as a facilitator with the Process Iceberg Model (see the book by T. Mann "The Art, Science, Skill of Facilitation") and found a lot of other models based on the same aproach: the facilitator is responsible for the process, but is not being a part of the group.
 

 
The Support Role in van Maurik's Facilitation Approaches
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
@Jolanta : I agree that normally a facilitator is not contributing to the content of the problem the group is working on.
However I think you misinterpreted the Supporting Role as described by van Maurik (and summarized by Anneke Zwart). The 'support' in van Maurik's 4 approaches is not aimed at contributing content, but rather at stimulating and encouraging group members who they need that.
 

     
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