“Facilitation is the art of creating an environment and experience in which participants are able to learn concepts for themselves.”
In this first post, I will share 4 essential facilitation tips, about what I’ve been applying over the years, facilitating different types of sessions in organizations:
1 - Prepare
William Shakespeare said, “improvisations are better when they are prepared”. It’s our role as facilitators to prepare all the details of the session: in person or virtually.
Mostly in the virtual environment, before the session, it is important to check: See who your target audience is: it will be essential to work on the structure of the session.
Attention to the number of participants: it is worth having the help of a co-facilitator if there are many participants. It is extremely challenging and exhausting to play more than one role in the session (examples: trainer and facilitator, speaker and facilitator)!
Tools to be used: are people familiar with these tools? It is our duty as facilitators to train them in advance and thus not consuming session time.
It is not enough to create your PPT and think about fun dynamics. Don’t just stay at the top of the Iceberg. It is necessary to observe your target audience and the purpose of that session / meeting. We can say: we must, as facilitators, develop our helicopter vision (systemic vision) so that our facilitation adds value.
Have you heard of Liberating Structures and Learning 3.0? They will be some of the topics of the next articles.
Briefly advance: they are key concepts for facilitations nowadays, as they help to distribute the control so that the participants can themselves shape the direction as the session develops.
The famous phrase “Data is the new Gold” is also being applied to the area of facilitations around the world, especially in the area of remote work, where we often rely on digital tools. Many tools support facilitators to take metrics, use technology to your advantage!
Those who work in agile environments already know and live the concept of “inspection and adaptation”. Remember that as facilitators, we are not the protagonists of the session. We often plan the “dream session” but remember that there must be a balance between structuring and adapting.
We have to, as facilitators, be flexible and adapt our “toolbox” according to our watchful eye. In the next articles I will go deeper into all these points. Do you like these facilitation tips? I’d love to hear your opinion!
See you later!