16 Facilitation Techniques and Their Benefits

a variety of formal and informal meeting, workshop, and event facilitation tools and techniques Numerous of these methods and tools can be used when making decisions, solving problems, or when it’s time to inject some fresh ideas or energy into the proceedings. Most offer methods to make sure everyone has the chance to participate fully and is able to contribute.

Give everyone in the group a chance to speak by going around in a circle. The facilitator can then give anyone who didn’t speak up the first time the opportunity to do so. When someone is about to speak, it’s a good idea to indicate which direction you’ll be going to give them some time to think. It can be used in conjunction with techniques to set time limits on each contribution.

a technique to get people talking, relaxed, open up, and feel like they have a right to be there It can be the start of building trust. They could share names and some personal details or experiences. A certain amount of self-disclosure or taking risks can assist in creating a group’s safer “container.”

Seats should be arranged in a circle with an empty chair for when a group is faced with a challenge or has encountered one. People alternately take the “hot seat” to simulate what they would do in that circumstance. Make sure participants actually try it, rather than just describe what they would do.

a method of expressing participants’ agreement or disagreement with or sentiments regarding a topic In most cases, the two ends of the spectrum will be “strongly agree” or “strongly disagree,” so draw an imaginary line on the ground and have participants line up along it. As participants listen to one another, the facilitator can elicit motives to spark further conversation and promote progress.

This is a technique for giving feedback while observing an activity or conversation in larger groups. One group performs the activity, and the others surround them in a circle to watch, monitor, and take notes. There are alternative versions, for instance, where there is a vacant seat in the inner circle, allowing participants from the outer circle to take it and participate in the conversation.

Typically used to energize and get the blood flowing after lunch or when a group is lagging or stuck. should involve quick movements of the body, though some may also involve quick mental activity. It can also be used for other purposes that are appropriate for that stage of the proceedings, like an exercise that you can debrief to uncover issues with cooperation, diversity, or teamwork.

Evaluation is typically the last activity, and it can be done orally in a round, on flipchart paper, or with special forms. What people took away from the session, their opinions of the facilitation techniques, what worked well, and what needed to be changed should all be revealed. Anonymity can be used in places where people are writing their own thoughts to promote sincerity.

If a question comes up, which is frequently addressed to the facilitator, it can be passed back to the group for responses or comments. g. It can be used when, as a facilitator, you are unsure of the best course of action or want to encourage the group to take ownership, e.g., “That’s an interesting question/comment Mo, what does anyone else think?” g. “I’m unsure about what we should do next. We’ve heard…and also… What suggestions are there of next steps?”. It is a significant strategy for transferring accountability to the participants.

The ability to gauge the “temperature” of a group and then name it is a crucial facilitation skill. g. “I can tell there’s a lot of anxiety right now,” Naming it might be sufficient, it might require discussion, or you could propose a change in pace or direction, such as having everyone perform a brief physical activity, take a break, or pause for a moment.

A good alternative to lengthy report-backs to the whole group. Each small group prepares a flipchart summarising its discussion. This encourages teams to identify key insights that outsiders to the discussion can easily understand. Everyone else explores the flipchart gallery on the wall at their own pace. One representative from each small group could remain with their flipchart to respond to clarification queries.

Essential to the maintenance of a group and energy levels. allows for informal social interaction, a break from conversation, and time for thinking so that whatever is needed can be processed intellectually and psychologically. They may be offered to the entire group during a break, at a time chosen by each small group that works for them, or always available for anyone who needs them to help themselves.

A straw poll or show of hands can be used as an opinion poll when it’s helpful for the group to know what everyone thinks about a particular topic. It is not a vote, and therefore not decisive. Colored cards with red for “no,” green for “yes,” and yellow for “more thought or discussion needed” or “undecided” can be used for more nuanced polling.

In order to evaluate a meeting or workshop, forms are typically filled out. There are a variety of participatory techniques, such as the dartboard, which divides the target into segments to evaluate various aspects. Participants are asked to place a dot in each segment; the closer the dot is to the bull’s-eye, the higher the rating. Don’t watch too closely!.

What the facilitator can do to help participants enter their uncomfortable zone and learn more is referred to as “building the container.” In order for a group to flourish and be productive, it also enables trust and communication to grow. Along with other tools and techniques to foster communication and trust, a certain amount of risk-taking or self-disclosure can help create a safer “container” for the group.

There are a variety of signals to read in any group, both within the group and between individuals. Laughter can signal a variety of things, such as readiness to take on a challenge or try something new. Beyond their confidence or hesitation, for instance, what else do you notice and what might this mean? Everyone gives off dual signals.

When you assume a position or role that the group already has but no one is willing to assume, the group may become hostile and kick you out. The trick is to use the feedback to clarify what you think is happening, determine your course of action, and avoid taking it personally.


The role of a facilitator

To manage a fruitful meeting, facilitators need to have leadership, organization, and communication skills. An effective facilitator:

What are facilitation techniques?

In order to involve participants, comprehend group dynamics, and make sure a meeting or workshop achieves its objectives, trainers, facilitators, and moderators use facilitation techniques. Effective facilitation techniques can be used to achieve both the goals and the content of a meeting or workshop.

Today, many meetings and workshops occur online. The facilitator’s role in virtual meetings is essential to a smoothly run and moderated session.

What are the benefits of facilitation techniques?

Facilitation techniques support democratic decision-making within an organization and help develop its human capital. Here are a few benefits of good facilitation techniques:

Some individuals conflate presentation techniques with facilitation techniques, but the two skills have different objectives. Both presentation and facilitation are training techniques, but a presentation is similar to a lecture where a subject matter expert imparts their knowledge, whereas facilitation is a lively and interactive discussion or group activity.

16 facilitation tools and techniques

The following 16 facilitation strategies will help you increase output and workflow at meetings and events.

1. Brainstorm

Brainstorming fosters a collaborative environment that frequently yields novel and original ideas.

2. Set meeting/workshop agendas

Although agendas are typically distributed to team members in advance of meetings, go over the agenda and goals once more at the start of the meeting to ensure that everyone in the group is aware of where the group is headed. When starting an unplanned or spontaneous meeting, this step is especially crucial.

3. Break the ice

After the introductions, engage in an ice-breaker activity to help everyone feel at ease with the group.

4. Delegate roles

Assign responsibilities to the group members, such as asking someone to take notes during meetings or assigning someone to check the time. Rotate duties from meeting to meeting so everyone feels involved.

5. Set ground rules

Establish guidelines, such as raising your hand if you want to share an idea, to keep the meeting orderly and calm.

6. Take breaks

Attendees may become fatigued and lose focus after lengthy meetings. During lengthy meetings, take frequent breaks, ideally every 90 minutes, to allow the group to get a drink or go for a walk. If a meeting is interrupted for lunch or a meal break, offer energizing, healthy refreshments.

7. Provide a toolkit

To take notes and record the details of the meeting, the facilitator should give the team supplies like notepads, pens, or pencils. If you or another attendee will be making a presentation, make sure to bring markers and a whiteboard.

8. Use a flip chart

Flip charts can add a visual component to a meeting, especially when coming up with original ideas. When writing or talking about a subject, position the flip chart at the front of the room and stand to the side so that everyone can see. Write in clear and bold font, preferably in capital letters. To divide the content into smaller ideas, use bullet points or markers in various colors.

9. Perform meta-planning

Ask each participant to share a keyword related to the meeting’s topic or main problem in order to engage everyone. Collect their ideas, and share them with all participants. This is a simple way to come to quick conclusions.

10. Engage and manage group dynamics

If a meeting is very conversational, break up into smaller discussion groups so that those who are more reserved can participate in the decision-making process. Give the dominant personalities a job to keep them concentrated and to motivate them to devote their energy to worthwhile endeavors

11. Keep the groups mood upbeat

Interrupt serious conversations with enjoyable, stress-free team-building or trust-building activities. These games help keep attendees positive and productive.

12. Monitor group politics

Bring attention back to the discussion with questions, answers to problems, summaries, and reflections if you notice power disparities and hierarchies forming within a group. Keep positively energizing the panel.

13. Be alert

You can make sure the meeting goes as planned by paying close attention and keeping the proceedings on track.

14. Pause and think

Once you have determined the meeting’s main theme, request that everyone present take a moment to reflect on it. Before the group starts talking about the subject together, ask them to write down a few ideas or thoughts.

15. Group review

Get the groups perspective and feedback on the meetings proceedings. The facilitator can learn from this 10-minute exercise what worked well and what needs to be changed for future meetings.

16. Make closing notes

Everyone will be able to understand the meeting’s conclusions if the proceedings and conclusion are clearly documented. Summarize the meeting verbally as well as in writing.


What are facilitation techniques?

Facilitation techniques involve getting people together to create new knowledge. As the exercise’s facilitator, the project manager must promote all ideas, settle disputes between participants, and accomplish the exercise’s objective, whether it be to create a set of requirements or a Project Charter.

What are group facilitation techniques?

The 5 Guiding Principles of Facilitation
  • Principle 1: Maintain Neutrality. Be deliberate about the meeting’s objectives and desired results.
  • Principle 2: Stand in the Storm. …
  • Principle 3: Honor the Wisdom of the Group. …
  • Principle 4: Hold the Group’s Agenda. …
  • Principle 5: Be Future Focused.

What are the steps in facilitation?

Group Facilitation Techniques and Methods
  • Action planning. Action planning is vital for team success. …
  • Brainstorming. For the group to generate a lot of ideas, brainstorming is a great tool.
  • Energisers. …
  • Flip-chart. …
  • Go wild: …
  • Ground rules. …
  • Group review. …
  • Ice breakers.

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