The word ‘facilitation’ comes from the Latin word ‘facilis’, or “to make easy”. While a professional facilitator makes process work look easy, guiding groups through structured steps to results created, understood and accepted by all participants is anything but!
During your facilitation of longer meetings and workshops, in addition to facilitating the right methods around a good session design, great group process involves that you manage four important dimensions:
ATTENTION: Keeping the group focused involves: What you say and do to frame new processes; provide verbal and written instructions; manage transitions between topics; and staying on topic.
INFORMATION: When it comes to facilitation, the ability to formulate the right questions for the right work to the right people is essential, along with the right tools to gather participant responses.
ORGANIZATION: Managing time from start to finish requires avoiding time wasters, effective group management, reporting/summarizing, and supporting group memory appropriate follow-on reports.
ENERGY: Setting a good pace for the work involves: Flexibility, presence; adopting a variety of methods; making course correction if needed; and appropriate use of humour and fun.