10 Basic Group Facilitation Skills

Viv Mcwaters

I’m in the midst of facilitating a training for an INGO on incorporating mental health and psychosocial support into programming. Throughout this training the topic of facilitating groups within communities has come up and I’ve been asked to provide some idea of basic facilitation skills. Facilitating is not for everyone. If you can’t avoid whole group discussions then at least avoid pointing to someone and asking them directly what they think.

Skills 187

Why do groups need a facilitator?

Viv Mcwaters

If the job of a facilitator is to get out of the way, why have one in the first place? A facilitator can help identify the boundaries to an event. It’s easy for people who are not facilitators to see the work of a facilitator as that which happens in front of a group.

2013 219

Great meeting and art? Try Graphic Facilitation

Michelle Laurie

Lovely facilitator drawing by Nancy White, graphic facilitator extraordinaire. There are simple and fun ways to reduce stress, engage the group and create meaning beyond words.

Creative Facilitation – the Book!

Viv Mcwaters

It is always in ‘beta’, always a work in progress and no amount of requests for cookie-cutter approaches to facilitation can stand up in the face of the messy, unpredictable and ever-changing world of actual facilitation with living, breathing humans.

2013 284

Facilitation training workshops

Viv Mcwaters

Back by popular demand is Creative Facilitation: Bring Your Meetings To Life , a one-day workshop on Tuesday, April 29th, full of processes and tips on how to get people involved and keep them engaged. It’s all very well to have lots of processes to use with groups, but what about you?

2014 203

Three ‘new’ group processes

Viv Mcwaters

At the last Creative Facilitation workshop I used it to gather information from the participants about meeting processes. In debriefing this approach (that I’d never tried before) it was suggested that I start, rather than putting pressure on one participant in the group to start.

2014 164

Learning facilitation

Viv Mcwaters

Here I am in Madang in Papua New Guinea, preparing to deliver a five-day facilitation skills training to local Papua New Guineans who will take what they learn back into their communities. And if you scratch below the surface just a bit, people often want to know how to control a group – not that they’d ever say that explicitly. And if that’s what you want, that’s okay, just don’t call it facilitation! Yet facilitation is so much more.

Facilitation and equilibrium

Viv Mcwaters

Some beliefs and theories in facilitation have always bothered me. What appears to be sane and sensible on paper, in reality, just simply don’t stack up when working with a real, live group of humans. What’s always bothered me about this can be explained by the principle of preferential attachment in networks (and yes, a group of people in a workshop is a network). Facilitation and equilibrium is a post from: vivmcwaters.com.au. Facilitation Innovation

2014 165

Facilitation tips for improvisers

Viv Mcwaters

There’s also jargon around facilitation. One of my big insights at this year’s Applied Improvisation Network Conference in San Francisco was about how to explain some facilitation concepts to improvisers, especially those who are mainly theatre improvisers, and maybe unaware of some of the traps of taking what works well on the theatre stage onto the corporate or conference stage. The same is true of facilitating. Learn about the bones of facilitation.

Graphic Facilitation 2015 – Skills, Innovation and Fun!

Michelle Laurie

I am very excited to be co-hosting the 6 th Annual Graphic Facilitation Workshop in Rossland, BC July 13-14 th , 2015. Think about when communities plan and imagine their futures, when teams consider the possible outcomes for their projects, when groups create maps to track their progress.

2015 231

Group Works

John Tropea - Delicious Faciliatation

Group Works. Welcome to the Group Pattern Language Project. The Group Works deck of 100 full-colour cards (91 patterns + 9 category cards) names what skilled facilitators and other participants do to make things work. Check out Group Works videos on YouTube!

Facilitate! Don’t be a Clever-Bully

Net-Map Toolbox

to teach, is to facilitate a Net-Map session well. So many things can happen in the group that maps, they can misunderstand instructions, get stuck in analysis paralysis, launch into conflict and, oh yes, they can get it all wrong! Clever-Bully (picture by Diamond Select Toys).

2013 163

What is facilitation again?

Viv Mcwaters

This was evident when I posted my latest definition (yeah, sometimes I fall into my own trap) of facilitation on the Facilitating With Confidence LinkedIn Group. The latter seems more interesting, somehow… What is facilitation again? Facilitation

2013 158

Creative Facilitation in Melbourne Nov 26-27

Viv Mcwaters

I make my living from facilitating, so I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and better, more creative, and more engaging ways to get the best out of people in a meeting. I’m hosting a two-day Creative Facilitation workshop in Melbourne on November 26 and 27. Here’s what we’ll cover: Beyond the traditional ‘facilitator’ role - What does leading a meeting mean in today’s workplaces? How does a facilitator announce new stuff?

2015 178

How my bad French made me a better facilitator

Net-Map Toolbox

I recently went on a mission to Cameroon, where one of my tasks was to facilitate a workshop with about 100 participants. You’ve guessed it: What I cannot do in French is facilitate a participatory workshop with 100 participants.

2015 146

Participatory Facilitation Techniques

Michelle Laurie

A few weeks ago I facilitated a 1.5 We had a lot of fun with this activity as small groups not only described the topic as a metaphor, but also drew it on large pieces of paper. In plenary we took ideas from each small group until we had exhausted the information.

Facilitation is hit and miss too

Viv Mcwaters

I’ve been reading about different approaches and processes in facilitation recently that proclaim their use will guarantee success, change, results, transformation and so forth. This is the skill and the art that facilitators bring. Facilitation

2013 219

Group think

Jenny Connected

My online PGCert group (for which I am a facilitator) is currently studying a module on the emotional intelligence of teams. Had I not worked on the connectivism course in 2008, I might not have even thought to question whether working in teams/groups is a good idea and also whether working in teams/groups leads to group think and stifles creativity. Tagged: CCK08, CCK09, groups, learning. Tags: CCK08 CCK09 groups learning

Groups 100

There’s training, and then there’s Creative Facilitation training!

Viv Mcwaters

There’s lots of things I can’t do well – way too many to list here – but I can cook a pretty good risotto and I can host facilitation training that’s memorable. Related posts: Creative Facilitation training Johnnie and I made this little video that describes our.

2017 169

Applying Graphic Facilitation in New Contexts

Michelle Laurie

I wondered if graphic facilitation may be useful in this context and explained a bit about what I could offer. After each session, the facilitator will debrief with the women on key lessons they learned and the women will then share these with their networks.

Non-verbal communication for online facilitators

Joitske Hulsebosch

So how does this work for online facilitators and trainers. What should you do as a facilitator or trainer without this body language ? I found this to be great examples and full of recognition as an online facilitator. online facilitation elearning

Facilitating for engagement in isolated communities

Viv Mcwaters

There are ways to facilitate meetings and events of all sorts that encourage participation and engagement. This week, while working in Papua New Guinea and helping community leaders learn how to facilitate in isolated communities, I’ve come to understand the following.

2013 220

Net-Map facilitation pointers: Links

Net-Map Toolbox

Let me start sharing them with you too – starting with everything I know about links: Net-Map Facilitation Pointers: Links. The best interpreters in Net-Map are those that have developed the ability of being co-facilitators. Group membership is not a link!

2015 127

The simplest facilitation tip to build group capacity

Chris Corrigan

Thinking that the facilitator has the answers is one of the biggest problems with the way people are entrained to relate to facilitators. Imagine: you have just done an elegant and energetic Open Space opening and you are ready to hand the process over to the group. Just as you start to walk out of the circle and let the group take over, a hand goes up “Excuse me, but what if no one comes to my session?” Facilitation Leadership Open Space

2015 57

What is the real work of facilitation?

Viv Mcwaters

If you could draw a caricature of a facilitator, what would you include? Standing in front of, or at the centre of, a group of reluctant participants. What you probably wouldn’t see, is this: That’s because the most powerful work of facilitation is that which goes unseen. It’s what the facilitator is not doing. Letting go of control, enabling the group to do the work, and holding the space for whatever it is the group has to do.

2014 157

What facilitators do for a group – a work in progress

Viv Mcwaters

Every now and again I dabble in different forms of facilitation training – that is, someone asks to learn about facilitation. What they are often asking for are fail-safe approaches to get pre-determined outcomes from diverse groups. I sometimes explore what facilitators CAN do for a group. I think the differences indicate a significant shift in my own understanding of, and approach to, facilitation. Provides a focus for the group.

Planning meetings? Can visuals help? Learn the basics at our 2018 Graphic Facilitation Workshop

Michelle Laurie

I’m planning a meeting for May where a group of scientists will come together to plan their reporting on five years of study. These included using kanban boards, ecocycle planning and visual facilitation.

2018 130

Survival guide for introverted facilitators

Viv Mcwaters

Facilitation might seems like an odd choice for an introvert. I have a theory though (completely unproven of course) that introverts make great facilitators. Extroverts also make great facilitators, and bring different skills). Facilitation

‘Selling’ facilitation

Viv Mcwaters

I’m a facilitator. Once at a meeting of local business people I introduced myself as a facilitator and a woman asked what that was. As I was struggling to find words, another person jumped in and replied, “If you need a facilitator you know what that is, if you don’t, it doesn’t matter.&# Some of my facilitation colleagues like to say they make the work of groups easier. Tags: Facilitation

More graphic facilitation coming your way Sept 29-30th, 2014

Michelle Laurie

We had a fabulous time hosting 22 people for our 5th annual graphic facilitation workshop in Rossland this July. Effective meetings Uncategorized #rosviz effective meetings engagement graphic facilitation Visual Thinking

2014 221

Helpful facilitation resources for #Occupy groups

Chris Corrigan

If you are a part of an #Occupy group and are focusing on the facilitation teams, I’d like to offer you some resources from the Art of Hosting community. On my site are scads of Facilitation Resources for use. In terms of deeper hosting practice Here is a link to a document i wrote a number of years ago called “Hosting in a Hurry” it can be a useful printout to hand to Occupy Groups to help them think about process.

Facilitation as integration

Viv Mcwaters

Siegel goes on to talk about a healthy mind, which naturally got me thinking about a healthy group or team. This is the challenge of disruptive facilitation. I’ve always found lots of inspiration from fields outside of facilitation. Facilitation

Just-In-Time Facilitation Support

Viv Mcwaters

You’ve been asked to facilitate a meeting – tomorrow, next week, soon! You should have done that facilitation training you’ve been meaning to do. This is what Just-In-Time Facilitation Support is all about. What if the group is polarised?

Rethinking facilitation training

Viv Mcwaters

Watch it, and then come back and read the rest of this post about facilitation training. It’s no longer necessary to come together to get the information you need to facilitate. Get straight into doing facilitation and learn along the way. Facilitation Learning

Still learning about facilitation

Viv Mcwaters

Here’s what I learnt about facilitating thanks to Melbourne Playback Theatre Group ‘s weekend workshop. What about facilitators, leaders, managers, speakers – anyone who has to stand up in front of a group? Helsinki warm-up: Finding your still moment in front of a group. Facilitation Improv Playback TheatreYou have to keep doing something long enough to notice what’s going on for you.

Good and bad facilitation

Viv Mcwaters

Which got me thinking about good and bad facilitation. Like aid, facilitation may appear good on the surface, but scratch a little, and you might not like what you find. So, what makes good facilitation? Feel free to add you own (and alternatively, what makes bad facilitation?).

Facilitation reboot

Viv Mcwaters

After an intense period of facilitation, I always seem to come away with new insights and ideas about facilitation in general and my role in particular. I have now completely let go of any notion that facilitation is about making it easier. That’s a mechanistic interpretation and one that certainly doesn’t apply to my style of facilitation. You can read more about my thoughts on disruptive facilitation here , here , here , here and here.

Screenwriting and facilitation: it’s all in the cut

Viv Mcwaters

Screenwriting – and story – are recurring themes in my facilitation (my current, and continuing career) so there must be something there that attracts my interest. It’s hard enough when it happens directly to me, when I’m facilitating. My advice to facilitators.

2017 130

The Power of Marrying Facilitation and Sector Expertise

Net-Map Toolbox

Last week I talked with my colleagues from the IFC , Sumit Manchanda and Anja Robakowski-Van Stralen , and Amit Nag (Net-Map facilitator) who have used Net-Map to facilitate their political economy analysis in setting up Public Private Dialogues in developing countries.

2016 116

Open Space Technology Facilitation Training

Viv Mcwaters

It’s exciting to be offering Open Space Facilitation Training again with my friend Andrew Rixon in Melbourne on Wednesday, February 13. We like to think of Open Space as an operating system that underpins our facilitation and consulting practices.

2013 176

Voices in groups

Viv Mcwaters

Body language gets a lot of press when exploring group dynamics. Here’s a few random thoughts and observations about different ways we use our voice in groups, based on what I do and observations in groups. We can use our voice to subtly (or even not so subtly) shift our own status in a group (this usually means raising our status or making a status attack). Music can transform and when someone uses their voice to sing it can have an amazing impact on a group.

Groups 109

Graphic Facilitation 2015 – Skills, Innovation and Fun!

Michelle Laurie

I am very excited to be co-hosting the 6 th Annual Graphic Facilitation Workshop in Rossland, BC July 13-14 th , 2015. Think about when communities plan and imagine their futures, when teams consider the possible outcomes for their projects, when groups create maps to track their progress.

2015 130

The real challenge of facilitation

Viv Mcwaters

This is good to remember when facilitating, or with a group of people at any time. Lowest common denominator, safe-as-houses facilitation. While it’s easy to focus on techniques as a facilitator, what’s more challenging for me is working on compassion and bravery. The real challenge of facilitation is a post from: vivmcwaters.com.au. Related posts: FACILITATING WITH CONFIDENCE! FacilitationEverybody’s afraid. Of something.