Maintenance Techniques to Get People Back on Track


Facilitative behaviors used during a discussion to help people get back on track:


Team Member: “It is not possible get through this obstacle!”

Facilitator: “If it was possible, what would need to happen?


Share Observations:


It is very quiet.  What does the silence mean?


Review Group Agreements:

Facilitator: “Remember the ground rules we discussed as we begin to talk about this event.” (If there were any established.)



If a group is really struggling or people are becoming very frustrated, interrupt the activity and ask:

So what are you doing right now that is working?  What is not working?


Accept/Legitimize/Deal With or Defer:

Create a safe environment for participation by:

  • Responding neutrally to a speaker whose ideas are “out of synch” with others in the group
  • Legitimize his or her contribution
  • Agree together how to move forward


You’re convinced we’re not getting anywhere?  That’s OK, you may be right.  Would you be willing to hang on for fifteen more minutes and see what happens?  Yes?  Thanks.


The issue you just raised sounds like an important one to you.  Can we finish debriefing this event, before we move on to discuss your issue?

What are the techniques you have used to help groups get people back on track? Share below!




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