Guila Muir

Developing trainers, presenters and facilitators to make a difference

What is a Trainer? What is a Facilitator?

A pet peeve of mine: Trainers who either lecture or simply read their slides, but who call themselves “facilitators”. Training and facilitation are very different animals.

Different Roles, Different Skills

A trainer absolutely must be a content expert. Surely, the best trainers integrate facilitative techniques to make learning easy, but at core they must “know their stuff” intimately.

Great facilitators need not be content experts. In fact, sometimes those who run meetings the best are those who know least about the subject. Instead, they focus on the quality of the process itself.

This chart shows the core differences between being a content expert and a facilitator.

Con­tent Expert or Facil­i­ta­tor?

Con­tent Expert (Tell)

Facil­i­ta­tor (Ask)

Presents Infor­ma­tion Guides Process; Ensures Multi-Directional Com­mu­ni­ca­tion
Pro­vides the Right Answers Pro­vides the Right Questions
Clear Purpose (and Learning Outcomes if Training) Clear Outcomes for the Group’s Process

Are You a Trainer or a Facilitator?

If you are a trainer, your best bet is to combine the roles shown in the chart. This will ensure you’re doing your job as a content expert while eliciting robust engagement and involvement.

If you are facilitating a meeting but must impart information at some point, inform folks what you are doing. When you unexpectedly begin to tell instead of ask, confusion arises and engagement shuts down.

Let’s make a pact right now to always be clear on what role we are embodying. Are we training? Or are we running a meeting? Our understanding makes the process more clear, and easier, for everyone.

Give your training skills a lift with The Kite Workshop! Contact Guila today.


Leave a Reply