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Techniques and Focused Goals for Facilitators

BY MARK W. HARDWICK, PhD.

It is important to understand the four critical factors that help to make facilitated group discussions a powerful communication tool: purpose, picture, plan and part.  Purpose is the why of the presentation.  Picture is to create a vision of the future and make it clear, concise and compelling.  Plan is the roadmap, structure and goals for the discussion.  Part is the clarification of the role each person, will play in making the discussion successful.

Your role is to model four critical and related attributes.

Communicate and Collaborate

  • Create a climate for people to feel safe to work together
  • Guide the discussion rather drive or control discussion
  • Provide a safe environment where communication is free from evaluation and judgment
  • Focus on the group’s needs and interests
  • Be clear on directions and activity instructions
  • Keep the discussion moving let many opinions be voiced
  • Preview, review and summarize get agreement along the way on desired actions
  • A high degree of openness, interaction and involvement stimulates communication
  • Achieve communication by showing, and asking questions combined with active listening

Win/Win

  • Highlight positive aspects of the meeting and the potential for making a contribution and difference
  • Discuss and manage group members’ emotions
  • Protect people from interruptions by others
  • Ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate