Preparing the Group

Preparing the group for a great experience takes some planning and preparation. They will be walking into the room with all kinds of baggage: Will we have to role-play? How many phone calls am I going to miss? Is this going to be boring? Traffic is going to be hell going home tonight!  When are we getting out of here? I have so much work to do, I don’t have time for this. Here we go again… How many times are we going to cover the same crap? How much more stuff can I make up? There are many different[…]Read More…

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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 as one where you help the participants expand the horizons of their awareness, and facilitate them taking responsibility for their actions, past, present, and future. You’re not a “know-it-all.” Being the facilitator doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be the “authority” on the subject[…]Read More…

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Qualities of a Facilitator

There are literally hundreds of qualities that are useful, both as a facilitator and as a human being.  For example, being a good, active listener!  Just because something is not mentioned below does not mean we do not need to remember the other powerful human skills we possess. Leader FOCUS Provide a focus for the group. STIMULATE Encourage constructive debate between group members. SUPPORT Bring out information from introverted members of the group and to allow new ideas to be submitted without judgment. PARTICIPATE When the group is interacting poorly or in the wrong direction the facilitator must be willing[…]Read More…

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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? Add meaning and create dialogue. “So what does that mean to you?” “So what does the way the group responded mean for our work environment?” Now What? Create application for what was learned. “Now what?”  Seriously, you can ask that simple question! “Now that we[…]Read More…

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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 Every Never[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]“ALL?” “Every?” “Never?”[/threecol_one_last] [threecol_one]’Rules'[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]Should Shouldn’t Must Can’t[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]”What would happen if…?” “What causes or prevents…?” “Must?” “Can’t?“[/threecol_one_last] [threecol_one]Non-Specific Verbs[/threecol_one] [threecol_one][/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]”How specifically?“[/threecol_one_last] [threecol_one]Non-Specific Nouns[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]We It[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]”Who specifically?” “What specifically?“[/threecol_one_last] [threecol_one]Quantifiers[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]Too Much Too Many Too Expensive[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]”Compared to what?“[/threecol_one_last] [threecol_one]Statements[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]I don’t[…]Read More…

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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 wide range of tools.  Below are a few: how you set up the activity, content you provide immediately prior, essentially ‘priming’ them to spot that topic a Full Value Contract, the goals for the activity  Peer Introductions having the group read a book on topic, which[…]Read More…

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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 Single Most Abused Role of a Facilitator: Using the opportunity to ask questions that get participants to answer the way you want.  In other words, manipulating the conversation in the debrief so self-discovery cannot happen.  Learn how to ask GREAT questions that create dialogue. [hr][…]Read More…

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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 spending time understanding and improving the process is incredibly valuable. A great facilitator helps participants experience and discuss the “How” so better choices can be made to the process and create a better outcome. At their best, a facilitator is like an artist – an[…]Read More…

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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 right time. There are several ways you can do this. You can – if you feel you have all the answers and want to impress everyone with your knowledge – simply give ‘the answer’. Or you can seek participation and give group members the opportunity[…]Read More…

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