Facilitated Discussion

What is a facilitated discussion?

Compared to a more traditional workshop format, a facilitated discussion is less formal and more interactive. We typically share some high-level concepts about a specific topic or challenge common to the participants, then facilitate a group discussion (with small group break-outs) on the topic. We aim to leverage the combined energy, experience, and wisdom of the participants to maximize learning for all through a coaching approach. Each individual supports and challenges their peers, as they share ideas and experiences with one another. As opposed to a one-size-fits-all “telling” approach to learning, each individual gets to determine their own unique challenge(s), solution(s) and next steps.

Sometimes, we share content for participants to think about prior to the session. For example, we may ask them to read an article or book chapter or listen to a podcast and reflect on some questions in advance of our time together. We can also work with you to implement follow-up work, as deemed necessary, to ensure the learning “sticks” (e.g., a follow-on practical assignment or an Office Hours session).

When does a facilitated discussion make sense?

Facilitated discussions can be a powerful mode of learning when:

  • Participants are seeking development on a similar topic or common challenge, but each may want something a little different out of the experience (i.e., you need a one-size-fits-one approach!).
  • There is a high level of experience and diversity in the room, allowing participants to learn from one another.
  • Rather than learning a brand new skill, the challenge is to create new levels of awareness regarding what change is desired, what gets in the way, and how to implement it.

We can facilitate a discussion on virtually any leadership topic, as this is a very flexible mode of delivery. A few examples of common topics include:

  • Delegation
  • Time management
  • Energy management
  • Managing client expectations
  • Project management
  • Managing upstream
  • Delivering feedback
  • Transitioning a partner’s book of business

How does a facilitated discussion work?

A facilitated discussion consists of three main steps:

  1. Plan the facilitated topic discussion – We partner with your leadership team to uncover your desired vision, objectives and outcomes for the session. We work out the details of what the session will be together, including who should participate. Additionally, we can explore whether other modes of learning (e.g., workshop, webinar or peer practice groups) could be supplemented for stronger results.
  2. Facilitate the session – We facilitate the session, which typically lasts 2-4 hours (depending on your objectives). These sessions are typically delivered in-person.
  3. Debrief on outcomes – We will debrief your leadership team on how the experience went, along with any recommendations or learning points. The ideas, outcomes and next steps are owned by the participants of the session.