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Welcome to Facilitation Stories, where we discover how facilitators ended up in the profession, and how facilitation methods, principles and techniques are used more widely. Brought to you by IAF England and Wales. For more information on our chapter, click here.

Apr 27, 2020

In today’s episode, Pilar talks to Pinar Akkaya about how she supports organisations by training their internal facilitators.

Pilar met Pinar for the first time at an IAF conference a couple of years ago and has since done some work with her.

The next IAF conference is on 16th and 17th October – get in touch if you are interested in offering a session. At present this is still going ahead but is being closely monitored in relation to Covid-19.


Pinar first talks about her facilitation journey. She started off assisting her professor when she was a student in his strategy workshops and then worked alongside him after she graduated.

She then went on to work in Human Resources and continued facilitating before starting out working for herself.

She now works as an international trainer, teaches at the European School of Economics in London and works as a facilitator. She mainly works with big multinationals across Europe.

She is also a part of the APM (Association of Progress of Management) international network of French speaking managers and CEOs and facilitates the club’s monthly meetings.

She talks about her two types of clients - some that embed facilitation into their day to day and want to have a pool of internal facilitators, and Pinar works with them to do this.

Whereas some clients are just discovering it and she often encourages them to train a group of employees as internal facilitators.

She describes how clients who have a participative culture and are willing to listen to the voice of the employee and embrace facilitation more easily.

Pinar has two different hats - as a facilitator, and as a trainer and describes what she sees at the difference between them – she suggests watching an IIFAC video that explains facilitation.

She has separated her training and facilitation services and has two different brands – Signature (about training) and Collaï which focuses on facilitation. Her work cross culturally spans these two.

She has a very structured approach to in-house facilitation training and talks about the steps that she follows. She uses IAF competencies as guidelines. She talks about the importance of the willingness of the person to be an internal facilitator, the role of continued practise and her role as a coach in the process, and the creation of a facilitator community within a company.

She talks about some of the differences in being an internal and external facilitator and the importance of building an identity as an internal facilitator and the role of the facilitation co-ordinator.

She also explains how there is a need for ambassadors within the company and how critical these are for success, and the importance of branding and launching the internal facilitators within the company.

Pinar always keeps in touch with her clients, so she is able to keep up to date with how they are getting on and is able to see the positive impact of facilitation.

She describes how the selection process is often something to pay particular attention to, and then the challenge is often about managing the demand for the in- house facilitators within the company.

Pinar also has her own podcast about wine Juliette'in Kadehi (in Turkish).

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Twitter Pinar Akkaya @PINARAKKAYA and Pilar Orti @PilarOrti