Below is an article originally published on April 2, 2021 and written by Adriana Roche, Head of People, Culture & Places at Mural. Go to Mural's company page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
It was like magic, watching them manage a room of people, listening, pivoting, and guiding them as they solved problems before our very eyes," says Hailey Temple of the beginnings of her experience as a facilitator.
At MURAL, facilitation is about helping a group of people on their journey toward a goal or successful outcome — and we call doing it a superpower. In her role as a Learning Experience Lead and Facilitator, Hailey helps MURAL teams and members best use MURAL to achieve success — no matter what that looks like.
"Facilitation is about understanding the art and the science behind humans, their thinking, and what the desired outcomes are," explains Hailey. It's science, because a facilitator uses different methods and frameworks to get a group to a certain point, and art because understanding people and navigating their behaviors in different situations is an artful skill. For Hailey, facilitation is a multi-faceted skill and role that supports the success of a team — and that's why she loves it so much. "You have to think about planning a story, creating the structure of the experience, and then get to experience it alongside them," she explains.
Facilitation starts with understanding who's in the room, coming up with a plan, and then preparing for it all to change based on what happens with the group. "The need to pivot and bring the group to a successful end — whatever it looks like — is a really satisfying feeling," Hailey says. "What's more, you never use the same workshop or structure, it's completely contextual and every experience of facilitation is different," she adds. "You can run the same workshop over and over and the outcomes will rarely ever be the same — that's what makes it so interesting to me."
Hailey's path to facilitation
When Hailey discovered her knack for connecting people, she knew it would be part of her career. "I was always connecting people around my university, building teams, helping people get to their goals by putting them in touch with each other," she says. That's how she realized that she wanted to be at the intersection of people and technology, and decided to major in public relations and technology.
It was on a trip to Silicon Valley and Stanford's d.school that Hailey knew she'd become curious about collaboration and human-centered design: "It was the coolest thing to see and understand the design process and how it intersects with technology; I knew at that point that I wanted to pursue a job where I could apply and learn human-centered design at work."
She started her career at SAP, where design thinking and technology were used to solve customer pain points, and she learned about facilitation and applying human-centered design to solving business problems.
Using (and then working at) MURAL
Though Hailey's team at SAP was spread out across the world, her team did all of their customer work in-person. Hailey started to notice a contrast between how her team collaborated with customers versus with each other. "We were using design thinking in workshops, but our internal meetings were static and didn't involve as much innovation or co-creation — I knew there must be a better way for us to collaborate," she says.
So, Hailey started looking for solutions to connect her team and discovered MURAL. Eventually, they started using MURAL and Hailey rapidly became the go-to person for her team to learn how to use the app. "I was always the person transcribing notes from our whiteboarding sessions, but MURAL allowed me to digitize that process and make our team feel more connected than ever," she says.
With her growing expertise on how to work across internal teams, Hailey's role evolved from facilitating workshops for clients to running internal training and workshops for her teammates. Her love of MURAL led her to keep an eye on our jobs page, and now she's part of our rapidly growing company.
The role of facilitation at MURAL
In her role, Hailey helps internal MURAL teams and members alike think about and understand how to use MURAL in the context of their work. She's part of the Community team, which means she manages customer education and the MURAL community, developing and delivering trainings for customers to do more with MURAL. "I'm always thinking about how to inject valuable learning experiences at our customers' time of need as well as how to empower our community members to share and exchange knowledge about their experiences with MURAL," she says of her role.
The Community team recently launched MURAL Learning (currently in Beta), a dedicated space to explore learning content with impactful, efficient lessons on how to use MURAL straight from our experts and experienced community members (including Hailey of course!).
Hailey believes that empowering MURAL's community of members is one of the most powerful ways to help customers succeed. "The way I see it, it's one thing to tell people how to do things, but with so many customers doing awesome work, it's way more powerful to give them a platform to share their success," she says."We want our community to lift each other up, and it's obvious they want to, as well. Our community members want others to feel the magic of working with MURAL — we're just helping them share their knowledge and love of the product."
And Hailey knows firsthand how important it is to connect with others using MURAL. When she first started using the tool, though she felt the power of the creative collaboration it allowed, she also felt like an island because not everyone on her team used MURAL. "When I found other teammates using MURAL, it became a connector of people who think in creative and innovative ways," she says. "Now I get to see that global community of users and the creative, innovative mindset that makes MURAL so powerful from a different perspective."
To connect and educate MURAL users, Hailey experiments and partners with community members to create content, and develops internal content for education to help MURAListas. She works to stay abreast of new trends and finding out what resonates best with people, whether that's self-paced courses, live content, long or short form content, and more. "It's fun because I get to use MURAL's playful identity to help connect with our users through educational content," she says.
What she's excited about — and how she's staying connected
Working on the front lines and with MURAL customers, Hailey enjoys a unique vantage point of MURAL's growth. "There's a certain virality to MURAL and it's catching on in a big way, especially in today's remote-forward work environment — people are realizing the need for and embracing remote facilitation and digital tools in a way we've never seen," she explains. Because of the need to take in-person experiences online, there is a whole new set of constraints on facilitation. This phenomenon will only continue to be spotlighted as companies start to bring employees back in the office in a hybrid model. Hailey hopes to use her work to provide the community with spaces to share what they've learned and further the discussion about facilitation, hybrid facilitation, collaboration, and creative innovation in a remote-heavy world.
And while she's connecting customers through MURAL's community, Hailey also knows how important it is to stay connected to her team in order to achieve their goals and feel fulfilled in their work. "Though we're a remote-heavy team already, everyone is working from home now and we have developed a deeper sense of empathy for one another," she explains. "We've made more conscious efforts to work together online, check in often, and get together over video chats just because. It's been a period in which everyone has reflected on what they love about being in person and re-imagined the experience for online spaces. Whether we're working with fellow MURAListas or the MURAL community, that connection goes a long way."