Dairy Profit Team Facilitator – A Basic Job Description
The facilitator is one of the key roles on any team. Generally, the facilitator should not be someone who is directly involved in the dairy business, but rather can be an off-farm advisor or associate. In many teams, the facilitator may also have a direct advisory role (nutritionist, lender, veterinarian, etc) and so much serve dual roles as both team member and facilitator. Some teams elect to use a facilitator that has no direct connect to the farm such as a local business or community leader, retire business executive, or other non-agricultural professional. Some situations do benefit from a trained facilitator that has no farm expertise but is present simply to manage the team process effectively.
Characteristics of a Good Facilitator
The following are characteristics of a good coordinator:
• A great problem solver - Problem solving is the heart of the team's purpose. It is helpful if the team coordinator is competent in the more formalized process of problem solving.
• Enthusiastic - Enthusiasm is infectious and spreads through the team, increasing the energy level and creativity.
• Has a "can do" attitude.
• Has excellent organizational skills.
• Is a good communicator - Must be able to understand what others are saying by actively listening in addition to being able to express themselves well.
• Is an active learner.
• Manages a meeting well.
• Works well with people.
• Is interested in learning more about teams, team dynamics and facilitation.
Duties in the Team Meeting
1. Make certain that all members contribute to the team.
2. Aid the team in good communication practices.
3. Manage the meeting and the team process
4. Ensure timeliness of meetings and adherence to agenda.
5. Enforce the team’s ground rules
6. Take brief notes and develop action or “to do” list.
Note: Some facilitators prefer to assign some tasks to other team members (example: Keep time for meeting, etc.)
Duties Outside the Team Meeting
1. Circulate a brief set of notes along with the action or to do list within 48 hours of the team meeting.
2. Work with the dairy owner to develop and communicate the agenda for each meeting.
3. Monitor progress of team members on tasks in between meetings (can be simply email reminders).
4. Track key farm information and work with dairy to determine if team meetings need to be adjusted.
5. Solicit feedback on team performance.
6. Monitor progress of the team.
Note: Some of these duties may be shared jointly with the producer and other team members, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the facilitator to monitor performance of the team and suggest changes when needed.