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Front Loading

Front-loading an experience is making clear the purpose of an activity, session, workshop, retreat or meeting prior to actually doing it.   If participants clearly understand the purpose or lesson upfront, that topic will repeatedly show itself during the action component and potentially make it easier to identify during dialogue or discussion. Front-loading can include a[…]

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Ideas to Follow Up on Workshops

  Following up on your session is incredibly important to helping participants.  See Raising the Collective Bar about why.  Below are some ideas: Follow up with them with recent articles and personal notes to keep them motivated. Send them the new ground rules established in the workshop, if applicable. If your group is geographically close,[…]

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What if…. the debrief gets out of hand?

What you will see:  A gripe session Arguing or fighting Discussion moving off the topic Side bar discussions Likely Causes: Poor questioning from the facilitator Unresolved team issues How to Prevent it: Be careful of using activities when therapy is a more useful and honest solution. Do not use activities when you are seeking to[…]

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What if…. someone dominates the debrief?

  What you will See: One person answering most of the questions One person talking excessively. Most participants remaining silent. Likely Causes: The person wanted to show that he or she has the correct answers. Other participants are afraid to differ with the dominant person. The person may dominate the work environment and this is[…]

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What if…. participants don’t join the debrief?

  What you will see: Lack of eye contact with you, especially after you ask a question. Minimal one-word responses to your questions Shoulders shrugging Silence Likely Causes: They did not understand your question You haven’t given them enough time to formulate an answer. They fear embarrassment of a ‘wrong’ answer in front of you[…]

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What if…. someone gets overly competitive?

  What you will See: Taking the activity too seriously. Bending the rules or cheating. Extreme efforts to win or do better than others. Overly discussing the activity afterward with a focus on strategies and missed opportunities rather than on learning opportunities. Likely Causes: A naturally competitive environment in the workplace like a sales force.[…]

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What if… someone does not want to participate?

  What you will see: Rolling eyes: Lack of eye contact with you, or used negative body language Negative comments about the activity or the experience Direct comments they do not want to participate Likely causes: Past experiences that were unproductive or unpleasant Not understanding the purpose or value of what you are doing How[…]

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Debriefing Methods

Since facilitation is about the process, not content, you had better understand the process.   The closure, or debrief, is the process by which we reflect on experiences and discover how they link to different aspects of our lives.  This is when real learning takes place.  Closure is not simply asking random questions.  The questions you[…]

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Four Rules to Keep in Mind as a Facilitator

Of all the elements in experiential learning, the facilitator has the greatest impact upon the ultimate success or failure of the program. You’re Facilitative vs. Directive. Good facilitators know that they’re not here to “fix” anyone. They understand that they don’t always need to have all the answers. As a facilitator, you see your job[…]

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Responsibilities, Challenges and Abuses of Facilitators

The facilitation techniques included in this membership site will help you in all three critical areas below: The Single Greatest Responsibility of a Great Facilitator: Creating a safe and comfortable space for self and group discovery.  Learn how to set up an environment and deal with difficult people to fulfill your greatest responsibility. [hr] The[…]

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Responsibilities, Challenges and Abuses of Facilitators

The facilitation techniques included in this membership site will help you in all three critical areas below: The Single Greatest Responsibility of a Great Facilitator: Creating a safe and comfortable space for self and group discovery.  Learn how to set up an environment and deal with difficult people to fulfill your greatest responsibility. [hr] The[…]

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What is a facilitator?

Strictly speaking, a facilitator makes a process easier.  A facilitator does not add or subtract from the process, but helps bring about an outcome by providing guidance and assistance. “How” something happens is just as important, if not more important, than “what” happens.  The process of communication, team building, leadership, etc. can change the outcome, so[…]

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The Simplest Debriefing / Questioning Method

For a SUPER simple method, and perfect for beginners, check out the ‘What’ Method.  The questioning strategy could not be more simple: What? So What? Now What? What? Get full description and discussion around the experience. “What happened during the activity? “ “What did you / the group do?” “What were your reactions?” So What?[…]

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Why ask questions as a facilitator?

  This may seem like a no-brainer, but I want to take nothing for granted! There are two core skills that will help you become an effective facilitator, in ANY setting. First, be a good active listener and observer. Next become skilled in the art of asking the right questions in the right way at the[…]

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Probing

  What is probing? Probing is asking follow-up questions in order to gain more understanding, such as: Can you explain further? Could you put it in another way? Can you please tell me more about that? But why, how, who, when, where? Anything else? Probing is rather like peeling away the layers of an onion[…]

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Paraphrasing

  What is paraphrasing? Paraphrasing is repeating what somebody has said, using your own words. Why use paraphrasing? Benefits for the facilitator The technique forces you to listen very carefully, because when the person has finished speaking, you know that you will need to repeat what was said. In addition, you have the opportunity to[…]

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DIGA – Experiential Learning Cycle

There are several debrief methods to choose from and DIGA is one we used while training hundreds of facilitators to be more effective because of the simplicity of the questioning that could lead to marvelous discovery. DIGA was first introduced in 1975 by University Associates as a simple method to focus a debrief: Describe Interpret[…]

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Maintenance Techniques to Get People Back on Track

  Facilitative behaviors used during a discussion to help people get back on track: Throw-Back: Team Member: “It is not possible get through this obstacle!” Facilitator: “If it was possible, what would need to happen?” [hr] Share Observations: Facilitator: “It is very quiet.  What does the silence mean?” [hr] Review Group Agreements: Facilitator: “Remember the[…]

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Don’t ‘We’ on Yourself!

A fun way to keep the debrief light is to start getting people to notice how often we use the non-specific noun ‘We’, which we all do frequently when really we mean ‘I’. It is one particular way to spread around the responsibility and not take accountability for our own actions, opinions, failures and successes.[…]

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Clarity Techniques

Facilitators use these techniques to reflect verbiage back to participants.  Do not judge their words, simply be a mirror for them to judge their own words.  Be careful not to ‘throw’ the responses in their face and always be polite, saying “Excuse me” if you need to interrupt. [threecol_one][/threecol_one] [threecol_one]Person Uses:[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]Facilitator Responds:[/threecol_one_last] [threecol_one]Universals[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]All[…]