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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 […]

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Individual and Group Loop

A balance between group and individual learning is the most exciting process a facilitator can create.  By understanding the process of individual and group development, a facilitator can create an experience to match individual and group needs. Below is a handout for your group, based upon Tuckman’s Model, that may help them understand where they […]

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Group Work Debrief

This is a great tool to use in the beginning to help create a learning debrief, especially for new facilitators, to help provide some structure to the debrief. Have them fill out individually before group debrief. Three ways that we helped each other to complete the activity were: Three areas we could have worked together […]

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Debrief Handout

  Below is a Pie Chart that represents 100% of the entire activity and is broken into 12 separate slices. Please list below the difficult areas that your group faced and shade the areas that correspond to the degree of difficulty. If 6 key areas were identified, assign the slices according to the degree of […]

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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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Peer Introductions

  This is a series of questions you can ask people to complete prior to coming together, use as a paired activity in the beginning or simply give them a few minutes in the beginning to ponder and then share. We have used this many times when a group is first forming, in conference settings […]

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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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Raising the Collective Bar

  Take a moment and think of a large spider web.A spider web is very similar to organizations.  If you are looking directly at it, you will see many different strands connected together in a concentric circle – see left. Now, turn the top edge of the spider web toward you 90 degrees so the […]

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Example of Agreements for Full Value Contracts

  The Full Value Contract was introduced as a setup tool and below are some additional agreements you can use: Be present Pay attention Speak your truth Be open to outcomes Create a safe environment [hr] I will value myself and others. I will behave in a way that keeps myself and others safe. I […]

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Full Value Contract

This full value contract asks you to agree to these five commitments as guidelines for group participation. Because I care about myself and my group, I agree to: Work Together: I with my group in order to achieve both my own goals and the goals of the group. I will support the group in achieving our goals. […]

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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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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 […]

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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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