The best techniques for facilitators
The Best Techniques For Facilitators
Technique is an individual method for performing an activity. It is usually one that requires special skills or facilities.
What role does a facilitator play?
Facilitators plan, guide and manage group events to achieve their goals. You can facilitate a single meeting or multiple sessions. It’s your job to lead discussions and get buy-in for the results you achieve.
- Builder of bridges
- Task Maker
- Active Listener
The Top 11 Techniques that Make a Facilitator Effective
1. You are prepared for anything
Facilitators are responsible for guiding groups through the process and making it easier to achieve their goals. You can do this by having a plan and a general idea of where you are going. As we all know, life is not always as planned. It is important to have a plan, a backup plan, and perhaps a few additional plans in case something happens. You will have options to draw from and can adjust things to meet the needs of your group.
2. You know who’s in the room
Preparation is essential for facilitation. Knowing who’s there is also important. Before you go, learn as much about the group as possible. You will be better equipped to plan for a productive session and have a positive experience.
3. You can create an inclusive environment
You need to ensure that everyone is on the same playing field when planning and facilitating your session. To get the group to buy into the session and take ownership of it, you must find ways to allow everyone to participate.
4. Effectively Establish Guidelines
Push for concrete ideas and clear guidelines. Ask someone who says “be respectful” what that means and how they would define it. It’s a great time to discuss focus, especially mobile phone etiquette, and how to manage distractions that could distract from the meeting.
5. You have mastered the art of giving clear instructions
Facilitating is essentially asking people to complete a task. It’s much easier when you have clear instructions. You could start a simple “get to know you” activity at the beginning of your session. Everyone should turn to the person in front of them and share something about themselves. Then, share this information with the rest of the group.
6. Active listening is a favorite exercise
A group session that is effective will result in everyone walking away on the same page and speaking the exact same language. You must ensure everyone is heard and heard. You can do this by encouraging your group to use active listening and flexing your own active listening skills.
7. You manage time like a referee
There are limits to the time that group activities can be done. This means that you will need to plan how long each component of your session will take, and how long it will take for your group to achieve the session’s goals. You have several options for keeping track of time. One is to use a watch or a phone to let everyone know the time, another is to use a large clock so that everyone can see it, and finally, you can delegate timekeeping to smaller groups or individuals.
8. You are Mary Poppins’ Facilitation Version
Perhaps I’m a bit too old to know this, but what else do you know about this amazing jack-of all-trades child care worker? One, she had a multitude of tricks to help her in every situation. To help groups reach their goals, you need your own set of tricks. Sometimes, a group session can get off track or your plans don’t work out as you planned. Keep a list of activities you can pull out in case Plan A fails.
9. You are an Energy Gauge
This is not about vortices or chakras. It is a common fact that people can sometimes walk into a room and transmit an energy. This could be tired, lethargic or excited, crazy, silly, negative. Sometimes, you will need to match the activity with the energy of the group. Other times you may need to find ways that you can increase enthusiasm and excitement in a low-energy group.
10. Flexibility and adaptability are key to your success
Facilitators are responsible for monitoring the progress of their groups and providing feedback. Consider how often your group might need to take a break. Ask everyone how they are doing and if it is time to take a break. You might have originally intended to take a 30 minute break, but your group is in urgent need of it so let them know! To help your group function at its best, it’s all about taking care of them.
11. Neutral Facilitator vs. Facilitator With an Agenda
As a professional facilitator, you may be often hired to facilitate a group. It’s your job to concentrate on the process, session objectives, and overall experience of the group. This role is neutral to what the group has to say and I concentrate on getting insights from them to help me achieve the session goal. It’s not about me, it’s about their process.
Facilitation is not an easy job. You have to ensure everyone participates and you also have to guide people with different work styles and personalities towards a common goal. Learning the different skills required can help you become better at facilitation and group work. We have a train the trainer course available here for more information or training.