What is the difference between facilitation, mediation and training?
Often I am asked for a proposal and in our conversation or email these different terms are used almost synonymously for the same job. However, important for a successful measure is a clarity about the format and this depends very much on what the need is.
Facilitation creates a process which is defined by the client content wise: (e.g. planning an event, building trust in the team). In terms of content, the facilitator stays out of it completely, but structures the different phases, pays attention to timekeeping and supports visualisation. Depending on the topic, she asks the group goal-oriented questions, makes indirect suggestions by facilitating exercises and, depending on the topic, provides feedback. The focus in the process is on achieving a previously specified goal in a limited time. Facilitated regular meetings are an integral part of agile teams in particular. Depending on the "mandate", the facilitator sometimes incorporates ideas or feed back. Whether you work according to Scrum or other models, a good and goal-oriented process contributes significantly to achieve results.
Mediation also creates a process, but one that revolves around a conflict. The focus of the process is that all sides have an equal say, can respectfully communicate their backgrounds and common interests and ideally develop the first approaches to a solution. Here too, the mediator stays out of the conflict completely, structures and visualises in such a way that emotions can calm down (conflicts are always emotionally charged), and then facilitates creative work on the solution. In terms of time, this continues until the mediation ends without an agreement with lower amount of injuries or, better, after a resolution is reached that is consistent for all sides.
Training serves to develop skills and knowledge and follows the principles of adult education. The trainer sees herself as an equal to the participants and offers her expertise interactively (no classical teaching). The participants also contribute their expertise and "take on board" what they consider to be right and important. The trainer provides information based on the assignment, plans exercises for the development of competences, offers feedback and ideas – always in dialogue with the participants. The focus of this process is on designing "learning steps".