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 to promote new discussion.

DO NOT!
Take over the leadership of the group.  Simply provide leadership guidance.

Referee

REGULATION
Maintain order of the group discussion, discouraging participants from talking at the same time, or dominating the floor.

PROTECT MEMBERS
Ensure that all contributions to the discussion are treated equally and that no-one is rebuffed for their input.

DEAL WITH PROBLEMS
Control problem people within the group allowing everyone to participate freely.

TIMEKEEPER
Adhere to the meeting timetable thus ensuring completion of the agenda.

Neutrality

OBJECTIVE
Take a detached look at the discussion viewing each point on its merits.

FEEDBACK
Promote discussion of points raised, by all members of the group.

THE FACILITATOR
Must be a neutral to the discussion, taking a pragmatic view of all points raised. This frees the facilitator to concentrate on the group rather then the content of the discussion and hence they can ask pertinent and stimulating questions.

Risk Manager

No simple bullets on this one!

In our litigious society, we must all be on the lookout for possible risks that will not only potentially harm participants, but also yourself and the company.  You must ensure that all events are set-up safely and that all necessary gear(if necessary) is worn correctly.

Be sure you:

  • Have all release forms (if applicable).
  • Check to ensure that any ‘playing’ area is clear of any hazards.
  • Let everyone know that each activity is challenge by choice.  No one MUST participate.

Facilitators are also responsible for minimizing participants emotional upset and physical harm.  If you are not a licensed therapist, be VERY careful when treading into emotional areas.

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