Each pattern describes a problem which occurs over and over again in our environment, and then describes the core of the solution to that problem, in such a way that you can use this solution a million times over, without ever doing it the same way twice. -- Christopher Alexander
What is Facilitation?
Facilitation comes from the latin _facile_, which mean _easy_. In fact, the role of a facilitator in a group setting is to "make things easy". It involves planning, organizing, and setting or supporting rules and goals within such groups. It is my goal here to collect and share many of the tricks, techniques and practices that facilitators use in their work.
Facilitation Patterns are then general reusable solutions to common facilitation problems. Take a look and let us know what you think!
The patterns I have collected here fall into these categories :
State of Mind
As Is / To Be Process
Moving Parts Architecture
Hand out numbered index cards to people that raise their hand....
Ask the group to vote with their thumbs : * *Thumbs...
6 Thinking Hats
Return On Time Invested
Be a Coach
Big Visible Chart
Direct Group Authority
Borrow authority from the group. By prompting the group to make...
Don't Answer Questions
Create a fishbowl. Only people sitting in the "fishbowl" can talk....
Break the large group into smaller groups where each group is...
Use a gathering ritual to gently bring the focus of the...
Monitor the energy and engagement in the room. When it runs...
Invite Others To Talk
Invite others to talk.
Write down off topic ideas so that the person that brought...
Introduce a talking stick. Only the person holding the talking stick...
Capture the important ideas on index cards or stickies. One idea...
As facilitator, you should write. This will slow things down (limited...
Ask the group to stop talking and brainstorm ideas quietly for...
Allow your participants to write, prefereably all at the same time....
Decide How To Decide
Add "No Stories" to your [ground_rules].
Suggest "One Conversation" as one of the [ground_rules] to keep this...
Use agreed upon gestures to express agreement and readiness to talk....
Ask Powerful Questions
Ask Questions With Answers
Only ask questions that you actually want answers for. Instead of...
Don't use the word "you". As an added benefit, the word...
"I See", "I Feel", "I Imagine"...
Use this template : "I see X, I feel Y, I...
"On a scale of..."
Ask for the amount of this thing on a discrete scale....
Use AND not BUT
Use Declarative Language
Use declarative language to promote an environment of trust and empowerment....
Build team cohesion by using "We" instead of "I". This is...
"What are you going to do about that?"
Define Your Role
Define your role up front, and set people's expectations correctly.
Ask the group to agree on [ground_rules] to guide their discussion....
"The purpose of the meeting is..."
Start every meeting with the phrase "The purpose of the meeting...
Question Based Agenda
Put the agenda on the wall to allow everyone to take...
Play a Game
So structure everything in 3's.
Find an Ally
Find an ally in the group. Or two, or three. You...
Prepare Your Space
Lower My Status
Model the "low status" behaviors (asking questions, asking for help...) you...
Present A Problem
Raise My Status
If you suspect safety may be low, take the group's temperature....
I Trust You
Model that choice for your team. Choose to trust them and...
Keep no foolish consistencies, if it doesn't work, throw it out!...
No Personal Agenda
People Hear What They Need To
You can can trust that they heard exactly what they needed...
Put Your Distractions On the Shelf
Ask the participants to each write down any distractions and put...
Seek First To Understand
Ask To Extend
When meetings are running late, ask the group what it wants...
Gather data to from the group to bring about this shared...
Before making a suggestion or providing feedback, find the one thing...
Restate someone's point back to them to allow them to both...
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