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What Does A Skills Development Facilitator Do And Why Should You Care?

Have you ever wondered how to improve on professional skills once you’re in the workforce? Everyone seems to talk about the importance of upskilling but no one ever explains how. This is where a skills development facilitator comes into play. In this article, I’d like to explain what a skills development facilitator does, how they can help, and give you a rundown of my personal journey as a facilitator.

What's A Skills Development Facilitator?

What Does A Skills Development Facilitator Do?

To define a skills development facilitator, it’s helpful to separate the term into two. 

RELATED: Read about our Professional Skills Development Services

What Is Skills Development?

Skills development is relatively self-explanatory. Essentially, it refers to developing skills, or, from the perspective of the skills development facilitator, helping people learn.

What Is Facilitating?

Facilitating, on the other hand, is a broader term. The core role of a facilitator is to help people work together and communicate more effectively

→ By combining skills development with facilitating, facilitators help people acquire hard skills and soft skills

What Are Hard Skills?

Hard skills refer to technical skills. These are skills that people typically receive from formal education like school and university. According to McKinsey & Company, the mean return for hard skills is over 2x higher than for soft skills: $79,183 compared to $39,661.

Examples of hard skills include:

  • Engineering
  • Accounting
  • Math
  • Science
  • Programming

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills focus on communication skills. Emotional intelligence plays a key role in the development of soft skills. According to Trvst, a study in 2016 found that 96% of employers term soft skills either “very important” or “essential”. 

Examples of soft skills include:

  • Communication
  • Giving feedback
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Stress management

While I’ve highlighted the differences of each, a healthy balance of both is vital if you are to be effective in the workplace. This then begs the question: how can you learn these skills?

How Can A Skills Development Facilitator Help You Learn?

There are numerous techniques and programs skills development facilitators can use to help you learn but before any of that begins, it’s vital there be a desire to learn. While good facilitators know how to motivate you, typically, the desire to learn comes from a sense of a deficit

Speaking of myself, I used to be insecure and found that difficult to manage. To fix this, I joined a student group on presenting which cured some of the insecurities I had. In this way, one’s ability to act upon deficiencies serves as the framework from which skills development facilitators can help them improve.

My Journey As A Skills Development Facilitator

A lot’s changed since I was that young man who joined a presenting class to gain some confidence. Below I’d like to describe a key period that really helped me develop as a skills development facilitator.

First Six Months

I first took on a job as a trainer in Google in 2005. The first six months were great because I enjoyed teaching people how something worked. On top of that, I got a lot of attention and it was nice to feel like the work I was doing meant something. However, to be a great facilitator, this isn’t enough.

After Six Months

After the first six months, a shift in my mindset took place. I began to realize how my work could really help people improve in all sorts of ways. Coming to this understanding really ignited my passion for being a skills development facilitator and I believe this desire to help others is a key trait to have. Combine this with an appetite for continued learning and you’ve got a recipe for a great facilitator!

What Has Helped Me Grow As A Skills Development Facilitator?

While my mindset shift after six months took my understanding of my work to another level, that’s not the only thing that’s helped me grow in my 20 year career.

  • Experience

You can’t beat time spent on the job. Doing the training itself taught me a lot about the rudimentary skills needed to be a good skills development facilitator. Google also provided me with train the trainer sessions which were extremely valuable. On top of this, I had the opportunity to work with an external trainer and this was someone I could discuss any obstacles I was facing.

  • Feedback

My time on the job wouldn’t have been as illuminating without feedback. Constant feedback has helped me grow in ways that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. 

Once again, continuous feedback sessions were provided at Google. These ranged from discussions about what I was doing wrong or different approaches I could’ve taken in a certain scenario. 

  • Looking Inside

The more I worked as a skills development facilitator, the more I knew how valuable it was to understand myself better. This led to my discovery of neuro-linguistic programming, as well as my dedication to learning how to communicate better. Looking inside has provided a depth to my learning and teaching

Is There A Demand For Skills Development Facilitators Around The World?

The demand for skills development facilitators has been on a steady rise. Online learning platforms like Udemy and LinkedIn Learning are some of the best places to go for this sort of information because of how much learning takes place on them. 

Take Udemy, for example. According to statistics on Sign House, the number of learners on Udemy surpassed 52 million in 2022. This comes in conjunction with the increase in the number of courses offered on the platform, which, as per Skillademia, reached 213,000+ in 2022.What’s really interesting about this is how it points to a future in which technology can provide individualized learning. However, the base and heart of it still lies with skills development facilitators. After all, these are people who understand learning and the principles of how people learn.

How I Can Help

With 15 years experience as a skills development facilitator, including impactful roles at Google and Apple, I, Thijs van Loon, am here to help. My suite of services has been meticulously designed to propel your team to new heights. 

One area of expertise is in Professional Skills Development, which can cover anything from sales training, team management, and executive coaching. 

By leveraging training certifications from Google and Apple, in addition to my certifications in NLP and Psych-K, I offer tailored, practical solutions that deliver immediate results to your business. By working together, I can help you empower the individuals in your company and your business at large, whether this be in Vietnam or other locations in Southeast Asia. 

Interested in learning more about skills development facilitators? Get in touch now. 

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