Facilitation, Training, Consulting.... Or "do-it-yourself?"

Can we always explain the difference to each other? Strange as it may seem, we often encounter confusion about these terms - facilitation, training and consulting. To clearly distinguish and understand the difference between them is important not only for those who are providers, consultants, trainers, but also for those who buy all these services.

Also, it seems to me that it is important to consider each of these processes from 2 points of view - the goals and professionalism of the presenter/consultant and the methods, technologies he uses. And it is not so much the methods that are more important, but the goals of the work being done. After all, the situation is such that often the same or similar methods used by facilitators, trainers and consultants serve to achieve completely different goals. Therefore, before deciding on the method, it is important to understand what end product you want to get, what goals to achieve. And only then - by what method.


When do we organize trainings? When we want to teach someone new skills, give certain knowledge, develop specific competencies. There are many ways to get new knowledge and skills, and trainings are one of the most common ways. They use different techniques and methods of work - from monologues and lectures to interactive, dynamic and engaging group exercises, in any case, the main goal is to change behavior.

Because people have different learning styles and it is important to understand the characteristics of adult learning, designing a good training program that takes this into account and meets all the requirements is not easy. Increasingly, good training programs are becoming more narrowly focused, targeting very specific skills, and are conducted on specific client cases or even in the workplace. So trainings are becoming more and more interactive and applied.


So when do we hire a consultant? If I need certain competencies, skills, knowledge that I or someone within my company doesn't have, I hire a consultant. If I go to a doctor or a lawyer, I hire a consultant. And like any consultant, working with companies involves a contract, a diagnosis, some treatment, payment, and involves various research, development, and implementation processes. Many people prefer doctors and lawyers who solve problems with their minimal involvement in the process, and it must be said that many people expect the same from business consultants. However, we believe that maximum involvement in the process of improving both your own health and the health, development of the organization always brings the best results.

We are convinced that the best consultants not only use appropriate models and methods of work, but also always include the client in the process of solving the set tasks, use their knowledge and experience, the peculiarities of the business and the situation in order to create and implement the most accurate, successful solution.


So when do we hire a facilitator? When we want the process of decision making, group planning, idea generation to be managed by someone outside the company, an independent and professional person. It is important that the facilitator has excellent group facilitation skills, is neutral and not biased towards the topic of discussion. The two main reasons to invite a facilitator are:

Ambiguous or complex group dynamics/relationships within the group make discussion processes ineffective and unhelpful

Need an independent and disinterested person to conduct the meeting

The methods that facilitators use help to include all participants in the meeting in the discussion process, provide an interactive and positive atmosphere when working out a solution or creating an action plan. They assume that participants have all the necessary knowledge, experience, capacities and rights to solve the problem and develop a plan.


Of course, just like wallpapering an apartment, you can hire a contractor or you can do it yourself. In this case, you need to ask yourself 3 questions, and if you answer "YES" to all 3 - then safely proceed to the DIY option. So:

Do you have all the necessary knowledge and skills to do the job?

Would it really be more cost effective? (Economically.)

Do you have the time to do this work?

If you answered NO to at least one of the above questions, then you should consider giving up on the project for now, or hiring a professional...wallpapering. The same goes for a facilitator, coach or consult