Summary: Here are 21 Workplace Facilitating Insights 1 of 2. Drs. Stephen Hobbs and Laurie Maslak each prepped 10 questions they combined into this list. They added a bonus insight. The insights are important to facilitate meetings and learning events.
21 Essential Insights for Facilitating on Intention (Part 1 of 2) ...
Two experienced facilitators, Dr Laurie Maslak and Dr Stephen Hobbs, met and shared a conversation regarding their insights about facilitating.
The two facilitators have worked together on various corporate, community, and government projects. many of which were framed by appreciative inquiry.
For one corporate client, they prepped and delivered a Facilitation-Facilitating workshop. During the preparation process they sat down and taped their conversation. They each shared their 10 facilitating insights important to facilitators of meetings and staff learning processes. Results: 20 Insights + a bonus.
First Ten Workplace Facilitating Insights 1 of 2:
1~ Always ensure you have the necessary equipment to facilitate … carry pens appropriate for flipchart paper, whiteboards, paper, masking tape, extra pens and pencils, sticky notes, paperclips or stapler, etc. Never assume that what you need will be provided.
2~ As appropriate, record group memory (on flipcharts) that serves as visual reminders and/or complete five Minute Minutes using the headings Accountability Collaborate and Responsibility Inform. Each decision assignment made during the meeting is categorized as Accountability (ability to account for).who to Collaborate with, and Responsibility (ability to respond to,) and who to Inform. Then the minutes are distributed at the end of the meeting
3~ As you facilitate, facilitate so as not to facilitate … work yourself out of a job.
4~ Be Comfortable with Silence – Learn to walk a fine line between meeting the client’s objectives and allowing the group to go where they need to go. If there is silence in the room – respect that – don’t try to fill it in with unwanted or unnecessary information. If the silence becomes uncomfortable for the group or prolonged – you can provide a “process check” to determine the cause or perceived change of energy in the space and ask for individual feedback.
5~ Be intuitive: Let your “gut reactions” or “sixth sense” be your guide. Be able to read what’s not visible, as well as what’s visible in the group. You may need to do “process checks” to validate these intuitive sensations. Be prepared to be flexible with where you are going and how to get there.
"Facilitating is about drawing the ideas from others so they can answer their questions in their words."
6~ Be Participative: A good facilitator encourages the group to speak for itself. In recording words of the group, ensure you record THEIR words and not your interpretation of their words. Help them to clarify any confusion or disconnects they are communicating. Don’t just act as an observer, be part of the introduction exercises, provide information about yourself that is engaging and relevant (your stories, examples, analogies etc) to help reinforce your points. Engage with participants at breaks and lunches.
7~ Clarify or Brief the reason for the facilitated session and gain acceptance for participation – as you may not get agreement for participation.
8~ Creativity: In the design of the session and “in the moment” don’t be afraid to be creative and use new ways/exercises to provide an analogy or a simulation. Sometimes people do not “see” the learning through text or a direct application – sometimes their learning is facilitated best through an indirect or seemingly unrelated activity. Here their defences get masked and their natural behaviour surfaces.
9~ Decide where to stand and sit in the room to facilitate the type of gathering you are attending. Can persons enter and exit gracefully; are you standing with your back to a window, etc?
10~ Engagement: As the group starts to enter the room, ensure that you welcome them to the session and ask some “safe” questions as a means of introduction and initial engagement (weather, what division they work in or company they represent? how long have they been there? Any difficulties finding parking? etc.) Incorporating an ice-breaker or innovative way to initiate introductions starts the group off on the right foot. Providing some background as to why this session is happening is also useful – especially if someone has come to the wrong session (it’s happened!)
Which insight calls to you having read the list – and why?Appreciate your comments below ...
Co-authors ... Stephen Hobbs, EdD and Laurie Maslak, PhD
The remaining 10 insights + bonus is available tomorrow ...
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Yours for the wellth of it,