When Training Your Team, Choose a Style
By Brian Kathenes
What’s the difference between a facilitator and trainer? A simple question, but one with strong ramifications for the attendees involved in a meeting session.
The facilitator will ask you a question, while the trainer will tell you the answer. The facilitator uses a Socratic approach to learning, while the trainer typically disseminates information. To be sure, both are very effective, and each has its place in a learning organization.
Facilitation can take a longer time to get to an answer, since it involves the collective response of a group. On the other hand, a trainer might well choose to state the answer and then explain the reasoning behind it. So when it's time to decide how you want your people to interact and learn via training and teambuilding sessions--do attendees have the answers within them, or does an outside expert have the answers for them?--the choice between trainer and facilitator is what you need to consider.