Facilitation is an essential skill in various professional roles, but not everyone has formal training in it. In this article, I’m going to share valuable insights on becoming a better facilitator using five clever strategies during a discussion and offering practical advice for improving facilitation skills.
Embrace the Identity of a Facilitator
First, I encouraged the audience to consider adopting the identity of a facilitator. I also shared a personal experience where I realized that facilitating means “to smooth the process of,” which resonated with many of us who aim to help others succeed. Embracing this identity allows you to view yourself as someone who enhances processes, making it easier for individuals to achieve their goals.
Provide New Perspectives
Then we looked at the power of providing new perspectives by having the audience rotate their fingers and change their perspective. This exercise emphasized how a facilitator can help individuals see situations differently. In challenging and overwhelming situations, offering a fresh perspective can be a valuable tool for promoting growth and development.
Make People Uncomfortable (in a Safe Way)
Facilitators need to create an environment where participants feel comfortable, yet they should also be willing to push boundaries and make people slightly uncomfortable. To show this, I emphasized the importance of helping individuals step out of their comfort zones, as growth often occurs when people are exposed to new challenges and perspectives.
Ask Great Questions
I also recommended using open-ended questions to encourage meaningful discussions. By providing choices and autonomy to participants, facilitators can prompt more authentic and vulnerable responses. This approach allows individuals to explore their thoughts and feelings in a safe and non-judgmental space.
Reflect and Guide
Next up was a reflective process consisting of four key questions: What happened? How do you feel? So what? Now what? This simple model can help facilitators guide participants through their experiences, fostering deeper understanding and personal growth.
Becoming a better facilitator involves adopting a facilitator’s identity, offering new perspectives, embracing discomfort, asking open-ended questions, and providing reflective guidance. These strategies can help individuals in various roles, from educators to team leaders, enhance their ability to facilitate productive and transformative experiences. Whether you’re an experienced facilitator or new to the role, incorporating these techniques can lead to more meaningful and impactful interactions with your audience.