A facilitation is held for three or more people. They may be a team in conflict or a group brought together for a project who are having problems communicating. Understanding what will happen in a facilitation assists the participants to get the most from the session.
Here is an overview of what you can expect
Facilitation process at a glance
Here are some key points about preparing for the facilitation process:
- allow 4 hours for a session
- some groups may require more than 1 session
- the facilitator gains an understanding of the issues each person will bring to the table and sets an agenda for the group
- participants may be asked to share their concerns in front of the group
- participants (and not the facilitator) make all decisions
- pen and paper is provided for all
- there may be a break of up to 15-20 minutes.
Role of the facilitator
The facilitator plays a key role in managing the process. They will:
- confidentially speak with each participant 1-1, before the session
- guide participants through the process so they don’t have to remember all of the steps
- encourage participants to stay focused on the agenda
- type the agreement and provide each participant with a copy
- destroy all of their own notes after the session (with the exception of the agreement document)
- keep an e-copy of the agreement in case participants require another copy
- make decisions related to the process only; participants (and not the facilitator) make all decisions about the outcomes.
Role of the participants
For the participants in a facilitation to gain the most from the session, here are some things to consider ahead of time:
- come with the intent of wanting to talk about and resolve the issues
- demonstrate respect to all
- listen while others are speaking
- be specific when sharing your thoughts, instead of saying – “You’re always late!”, be specific and identify dates and times
- what would the worst possible outcome be, for each person attending
- what would the best possible outcome be, for each person attending
- think about ways the issues could be resolved; out-of-the box ideas are welcome
- be flexible with outcomes you would like from the session because once you’ve heard everything from the others in the room , you may want to adjust your outcomes and that’s okay
- if no agreement is reached, what do you believe your next step is
- participants (and not the facilitator) make all decisions about the outcomes.