As a group facilitator, you help a group to discuss an issue, make a decision or solve a problem. You keep the group moving, and always towards its (not your) stated goals. By listening, observing and using your intuition, you are also very aware of individual needs and desires. While the group focuses on the task, you focus not only on the process but also the people.
- Plans and designs the meeting process, in partnership with the client.
- Helps everyone get acquainted and feel welcome.
- Clarifies the purpose of the meeting, the desired outcomes, the process
to be used and the roles of each person.
- Works with the group to establish and get buy-in to the ground rules.
- Draws out opinions and encourages full participation from all members.
- Clarifies communication between people.
- Helps keep the group focused and on track.
- Provides a safe place for creative ideas.
- Listens intently.
- Handles difficult situations and behaviors.
- Names conflict when it arise and guides those involved through a
Negotiation of their differences.
- Adapts the process as necessary to help the group move forward.
- Encourages the group with affirmation and appreciation.
- Summarizes progress of the meeting at key points.
- Guides the group in coming to conclusions, agreements, clarity.
- Maintains neutrality, reflecting content and process back to the group.
- Serves the whole group rather than individuals, and the process over
An effective facilitator must:
- listens and observes
- uses visual aids effectively (overheads, flipchart, etc.)
- records ideas legibly
- asks probing questions
- thinks quickly
- acknowledges and responds to emotions
- resolves conflict
- uses humour
- knows a variety of techniques for group discussions, including problem-solving and decision-making
- designs or chooses appropriate group discussion techniques
- understands people and groups, and
- Energizes the group.
An effective facilitator must also hold certain values and attitudes. To be most productive, the group must share these same values. Demonstrate the following values and attitudes yourself, and you will help foster them in the group you work with:
Respect and Empathy
All ideas are important. No idea or individual is more important than another.
Your group members must work together to reach the group’s goals. As a facilitator you cannot force individuals to work together but you can create an environment for it to happen.
You and the group need to be honest and open about your feelings, values and priorities.
The group must assume responsibility for the solutions and their implications. The facilitator assumes responsibility for his or her actions, which ultimately affect the content, participation and process of the session.
As you manage the discussion, you will be sensitive to the needs of individuals and adjust the process and schedule as required.
HND/BSC In Social science, Computer science and any related field