Basic Facilitation Skills                          TABLE OF CONTENTS

2002 Basic Facilitation Primer
PREFACE                                                                  Team Members

INTRODUCTION                                              WHAT IS A FACILITATOR?

This primer presents a basic introductio...
key points on a chalkboard as they are being dis-      apply equally to teams or groups because both need
cussed. Or someo...
together. One meeting myth is that getting all the      Preparation
experts in the same room will automatically produce   ...
Where                                               planning. These include charters, meeting agendas,
    Where is the me...
Example: CHARTER/PURPOSE STATEMENT FORM                          practice to allot times for each task (or agenda
3. Develop key mes-       45 min      Decision on critical goals of    spect” or “everyone has an equal voice.” Another im...
can’t be all things to all people. Preparation and      for them to stay focused on the task and the
meeting plans can hel...
KEEPING THE MEETING ON TRACK                              meeting on track, with example suggestions on how
Topic               Situation                    Intervention                 Topic             Situation                 ...
Topic               Situation                       Intervention                                                         2...
4. Gentle, public reprimand:
 Topic            Situation                    Intervention             Conflict:            ...
Topic            Situation                   Intervention
Conflict:                             3. Address problem directl...
MANAGING DATA                                          amount of memory visible at one time, keeping pages
Ten Basics of Managing Data                                KEEP LEARNING AND GROWING
1. Write it Down and Hang It on the W...
REFERENCES                                                       7.) Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision Making,...
ATTACHMENTS                                                                             CHARTER/PURPOSE STATEMENT FORM

                                                                                Meeting length and pace...

              International Association of Facilitators © 2002. All rights reserved. This
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Facilitation Primer

  1. 1. Basic Facilitation Skills TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface 3 Introduction 5 What is a Facilitator 6 Why Do Meetings Need Facilitators 7 Preparation and Planning 10 Charters 12 Agendas 13 Ground Rules 15 Meeting Focus 17 Staying on Track 19 Intervention Tables 21 Data Management 29 Keep on Learning and Growing 32 References 33 Attachments 35 Agenda 35 Charter 36 Evaluation 37 Published By: The American Society for Quality’s Human Leadership and Development Division The Association for Quality and Participation And The International Association of Facilitators May 2002 International Association of Facilitators © 2002. All rights reserved. This document may be reproduced and shared provided that author and copyright are displayed, and document is not used for commercial pur- poses. For further information or waivers, contact 1 2
  2. 2. 2002 Basic Facilitation Primer PREFACE Team Members What you are about to read is the result of the de- Dennis W. Burke Ned Ruete dication and hard work of several professional or- Lean Promotion Officer Process Specialist ganizations and individuals. The ASQ Human Devel- TRW Automotive Computer Sciences Corp. opment and Leadership Division sponsored and en- listed both the Association for Quality and Partici- 734.646.8346 860.425.6060 pation and the International Association of Facilita- tors membership to collaborate on this basic meet- Melanie Donahoe Ed Smith ing facilitation guide. This marks the first collabo- Quality Circle Facilitator Quality Circle Facilitator rative publication effort for HD&L and, we hope, not Pelco, Inc. Pelco, Inc. the last. The Authors realize the need to assemble additional facilitation guides that will capture more 800.289.9100 800.289.9100 specific information. The next Primer will be pub- lished and ready for distribution at the 2003 Annual Rudolph Hirzel Deborah Starzynski Quality Congress in Kansas City next year. IdeaWorks, Inc. President Starzynski Consulting 616.449.2924 Associates Inc. As the HD&L Publication Committee Chair, it has been my pleasure to work with this very talented Linda Mather 905.665.6567 and selfless group of professionals. On behalf of President the Human Development and Leadership Division, I Forums Institute for Jo Ann Stoddard want to express our thanks to their dedication, pro- Public Policy Director fessionalism, and spirit of volunteerism. We sin- School for Managing and cerely hope you will find this 2002 Primer useful, 609.720.0136 Leading Change and appreciate your comments, suggestions, and opi- nions. You can contact any member of the 2002 Ba- Gail Morgenstern (Princi- 513.381.1979 x126 sic Facilitation Primer Team at their Email address, pal) or by phone. Morgenstern Associates Dennis W. Burke 610.667.2245 3 4
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION WHAT IS A FACILITATOR? This primer presents a basic introduction to facili- A facilitator is someone tation. Consistent with the mission and vision of the who uses knowledge of Human Development and Leadership Division, it is group processes to formu- assumed that anyone can perform basic meeting, late and deliver the needed team, or group facilitation given the right tools and structure for meeting in- opportunity. We hope that this primer will provide a teractions to be effective. basic guide for those who are periodically called The facilitator focuses on upon to facilitate and for those who are first time effective processes (meeting dynamics) allow- practitioners. We realize that a document of this ing the participants to focus on the content or size cannot possibly be inclusive. As a result, this the substance of their work together. primer represents the first of a series on facilita- tion skills, techniques, and competencies. Other roles exist for meeting participants besides facilitation. These include scribing, recording, Facilitators can serve many different roles including timekeeping and leading discussions. The Facilita- developmental intervention in meetings, running tor’s role is unique, although no more or less impor- workshops, conducting experience-based training, tant, since their primary focus is on the meeting and guiding team development. The focus of this processes. Facilitation can involve many different primer is on the role of the facilitator in relation to levels of knowledge and skill, can include work on all meetings. It is recognized that many meetings in- kinds of problems and challenges, can assist the volve teams. However, there also exist many situa- group in fulfilling its desire, or can include pushing tions where meetings are held to share information participants to new levels of understanding. Most and make decisions, in which the participants are importantly, however, facilitation includes both an not recognized as a team. It is for these kinds of ability to recognize when effective meeting proc- meetings that this primer may be especially useful, esses are needed and an ability to provide those though the information provided here is equally ap- processes. plicable to team meetings. In its loosest definition, a facilitator is any person who jumps up during a meeting and starts writing 5 6
  4. 4. key points on a chalkboard as they are being dis- apply equally to teams or groups because both need cussed. Or someone who puts up a hand and sug- to meet to be effective. The basic assumption un- gests that the participants focus on a single prob- derlying meetings is that two (or more) heads are lem. Or even a participant who suggests that they better than one; that better decisions can be made find out a little about each other, or agree on how if there is more input. However, to assure that bet- they're going to make decisions. These actions that ter decisions are made, the meeting often needs to define facilitators are based on an intuitive sense be facilitated. In fact, a well-facilitated team that something in the meeting is amiss. Though this meeting generally is both more effective and more intuition is fundamentally important to good facili- efficient. Meetings occur for a number of reasons tation, it must be emphasized that intuition alone where participants are called does not replace an understanding of the skills and upon to: techniques that are the foundation for the profes- sion. Ø make decisions Ø share information Ø plan work WHY DO MEETINGS NEED FACILITATORS? Ø learn from each other Ø create buy-in People come together and Ø solve problems meet for a variety of rea- sons. Sometimes the par- The results of these actions may be seen in the de- ticipants are referred to as sign of a new product, improvements to a system, teams, groups or commit- development of a marketing plan, or suggestions for tees. Although these terms improving work conditions. In some cases, the meet- are used interchangeably, it ing may have more than one purpose or the purpose is generally recognized that may shift over time. For example, after designing teams have a common bond, interdependency, and/or the plan, the meeting discussion may move on to commitment to a goal. Groups, on the other hand, creating buy-in for the plan. are usually not as cohesive, not accountable to each other, and may meet on a less regular basis. In ei- No matter what the meeting’s purpose, participants ther case, the techniques discussed in this primer need to clearly understand the goal and how to work 7 8
  5. 5. together. One meeting myth is that getting all the Preparation experts in the same room will automatically produce If you have a chance to prepare good results. In actuality, getting the experts to- before the meeting, take advan- gether is just the beginning, the beginning of being tage of it! Preparation involves able to work together effectively. deciding what methods and tools to use/provide. The following Learning to work together does not necessarily questions will aid you in making come naturally. Nor is it always easy. The role of this decision. the facilitator is to help the participants learn how to work together by providing the structure (proc- ess) while they remain focused on the content. In Why any meeting, the facilitator must constantly balance Why is the meeting being held? What tasks process with content. Processes include the meth- are planned? What is the overall goal of the ods and tools used to help people interact produc- meeting? Is this meeting only a part of a lar- tively with each other, including how decisions are ger goal? Has this been written down? made and making sure everyone has an equal voice. Content focuses on topics or subjects under discus- Who sion at any meeting. Determining the tools and Who is invited? If decisions need to be made, methods to use to create this balance is an impor- are the right people going to be present? Who tant task the facilitator has to perform. Time is not going to be there? How does attendance spent in thoughtful preparation goes far to assure a affect successful completion of tasks? Who successful meeting. cannot come? Who is not invited? Why? When When is the meeting scheduled? How long should it be? Is there enough time? If it is close to lunch or dinner, should it be catered? How much time can be allotted for each agenda FACILITATOR PREPARATION AND PLANNING item? 9 10
  6. 6. Where planning. These include charters, meeting agendas, Where is the meeting to be held? Do you and and ground rules. the participants need directions, suggested lodging, and airline recommendations? Are Charters there adequate resources (overheads, flip For a team, the charter is the document that de- charts, white boards) available? How is the fines why the team exists and its overall goal(s). room arranged? Is the room appropriate for However, even if the meeting does not involve a the task? You might decide it would be better team, the basic elements of a charter are important to have the meeting outside on the lawn! because they define the purpose of the meeting. It is used to ensure that the participants understand What who is sponsoring the meeting, and that they clearly Consider possible group dynamics. Do the par- understand the focus of the time they will spend ticipants know each other? How well? What is together. If a charter already exists, the facilita- the history of the participants? How long have tor needs to review it before the meeting. If a they been meeting? Have they had specific charter does not exist (because the meeting does problems working together in the past? What not involve a team) the facilitator should discuss are potential problems with this meeting? Can this item with the leader before the meeting and they be mitigated or eliminated before the develop a purpose statement for the meeting. Typi- meeting begins? cal items included in a charter or purpose statement include the participants, the sponsor, a description Planning of the goal, and a due date (if applicable). Once information is gathered about the meeting, the facilitator can start planning. During the plan- ning stage, the facilitator needs to decide which tool or technique to use where. For example, while See the Example Charter/Purpose Statement using a voting system for decision-making is fast and Form Below. Blank Forms Are Included in the efficient, it may leave too many people dissatisfied Attachments Section of the Primer. with the result. Therefore, more discussion or con- sensus building may be called for. There are a few tools that need to be reviewed and developed during 11 12
  7. 7. Example: CHARTER/PURPOSE STATEMENT FORM practice to allot times for each task (or agenda item) to help assure that the meeting will end on Name: Training self-enrollment process. time. If the agenda has not been prepared and dis- Members/Participants: R. Patterson, Operations, tributed, the facilitator should get the pertinent P. Smyth, Client Services, T. Gordon, Employee Development, J. Freeman, Steward, C. Greig, Operations information to the attendees to ensure that the ne- J. Vakil, Quality Advisor, S. Beaudry, IT cessary people attend and that they come prepared. Sponsor: Evelyn Green; VP Employee Development Outcome and Deliverable: The “training self-enrollment proc- The facilitator uses the agenda prior to the meeting ess team” is mandated to develop a self-serve enrollment proc- to determine specific processes to be used, and dur- ess for employees in the Client Services and Operations de- partments. ing the meeting to keep discussions on track. In ad- Deliverable Due Date: November 30, 2002 dition, meeting agendas help participants know what Tasks and Activities: to expect and how to prepare for the meeting. - Develop the process steps and sub-process elements. - Define the user community needs. - Ensure the process supports the manager-employee devel- See the Example Agenda Form Below. Blank opment planning process and tools. - Area of focus is Operations and Client Services depart- Forms Are Included in the Attachments Section ments, process should be scalable to other departments. of the Primer. - Existing IT systems are to be utilized, enhancements under 3 man-months are within scope. Example MEETING AGENDA FORM - Delivery of training & communication to the stakeholder groups. Meeting Objective: Create the team’s communication plan for the new training enrollment process. Ground Rules: 1.) Participants are expected to attend all meet- Meeting Location: 4th Floor Conference Room B ings, 2.) Meeting roles will rotate among team members, 3.) All Date: Tues, April16 ideas will be considered, 4.) Decision-making process is con- Time: 9:00am – 12:00 sensus, 5.) Participants are expected to complete action items Attendees: R. Patterson, P. Smyth, T. Gordon, J. Freeman, C. and assignments on time, 6.) A group list-serve will be set-up Greig, J. Vakil for team documents. Tasks &Activities Duration Expected Outcome Copyright 1999 IdeaWorks Warm-up & Review 10 min Team readiness Meeting Agendas Agenda 1. Share interview 40 min Shared understanding of dif- The meeting agenda is the document that defines information ferent Stakeholder views and what will be done at any particular meeting. It concerns about the training enrollment initiative. should include the date, time, and location of the 2. SWOT Analysis & 30 min Completed audience map of meeting, the objective of the meeting, and the list Stakeholder needs communication requirements. of tasks to be addressed. In addition, it is a good assessment. 13 14
  8. 8. 3. Develop key mes- 45 min Decision on critical goals of spect” or “everyone has an equal voice.” Another im- sages and & guide- the communication plan. lines for the commu- portant aspect of the ground rules is making sure nication plan that participants understand how decisions are to 4. Action Planning 30 min Determine action items, and timeframes for the communi- be made. It may be necessary to discuss the op- cation plan. tions with the team if they do not already have a 5. Checkpoint 15 min Validated communication decision-making norm. Options may include multi- plan. Plan Next Meeting 10 min Decide purpose and date for voting, majority rule, consensus, or a combination of Critique Meeting next meeting. Team evalua- two different methods. tion of meeting effectiveness. Common Ground Rules: Meeting Preparation: Facilitator role: Ron; Note Taker role: Clare • Attend all meetings Items/Information to Bring to the Meeting: Notes from April 4 th A final note: not every and be on time. meeting – brainstormed ideas. Completed interview data. meeting has or needs • Listen to and show Copyright 1999 IdeaWorks charters, agendas, or respect for the opi- ground rules. And nions of others Ground Rules sometimes they are • Follow the agenda - Ground rules help meeting combined together, such stay on track participants establish ap- as when a meeting only • The only stupid propriate ways to interact occurs once a year and question is the one with each other during the the agenda and overall that isn’t asked meeting. If the meeting task are the same. Even • Ensure that credit involves a team, they will after these tools are is given to those to probably already have es- developed in some form, whom it is due tablished ground rules. If participants may still be • No disruptive side- the participants have confused about why they conversations never met or only meet oc- are at the meeting and • Cell phones and pag- casionally, they may not how they are expected to ers off have developed ground rules. If this is the case, be behave. Don’t expect to prepared to develop them at the beginning of the please everyone. meeting. The rules do not have to be extensive. Understand your role as facilitator and do all you They may be as simple as “treat each other with re- can to assist within that role, but remember, you 15 16
  9. 9. can’t be all things to all people. Preparation and for them to stay focused on the task and the meeting plans can help avoid most meeting pitfalls, process but also provides a basis for facilitator but you cannot possibly anticipate every need, intervention which helps the team stay on track. At dynamic, and nuance of human interaction. The real the beginning of the meeting, the facilitator needs job of facilitation begins once the meeting starts. to review the meeting agenda and ground rules to It’s the facilitator’s ability to recognize problems ensure everyone understands, agrees to, and will and respond appropriately that becomes important. abide by them. Specific items should be discussed: FOCUSING THE MEETING Ø Review the charter with the participants, if it exists. As important as it is for the Ø If there is no charter, review the purpose and facilitator to properly prepare the expected outcome of the meeting. for the meeting, it is equally Ø Review the ground rules to reinforce what the important that the participants participants have already decided. be focused. This requires Ø Review the items for discussion and the time line. making sure that all attendees are informed of the purpose of the meeting and that they If the ground rules do not exist, then you must come prepared to participate. assist the participants in developing them. A quick A meeting without focus will usually be and easy way to develop a list of ground rules at the unproductive, and may result in conflict. Since the beginning of a meeting is to ask the participants, facilitator’s role is to help ensure successful, “When you attend meetings, what lights your fire productive meetings, purposeful direction is and what burns you up?” You will sometimes get necessary. To focus the meeting effectively, the surprising responses, but don’t try to force them facilitator needs to be concerned with both into a common mold. Remember, each meeting has a elements of conducting meetings mentioned unique character that you have to work with and previously - the content and the process. respect. Making sure participants understand the meeting agenda and ground rules provides not only a basis 17 18
  10. 10. KEEPING THE MEETING ON TRACK meeting on track, with example suggestions on how to intervene in each situation. Keeping the team on track starts with good prepara- Ø Side-Bar tion and includes the use of Conversations Process Intervention & appropriate process inter- Desired outcomes: vention. Process interven- Ø Staying on tion is an interruption by Time 1.) To keep the process on the facilitator of the meet- track and moving for- ing process and conversation Ø Never Ending ward with all partici- in order to refocus the participants and/or to re- Discussion pants engaged, making balance group interactions. best use of time and re- Ø Conflict sources. Most interventions can link back to the posted (personal 2.) Balance participation ground rules or group norms. As a guideline, always attacks) with the meeting results start with the lowest level of intervention, which is Ø Returning the least obvious and least threatening to the indi- from Breaks vidual or group. As facilitator, your goal is to sup- port the participants in achieving their desired out- comes by staying on track and balancing participa- tion with results, so interventions must be suppor- tive. Speak the intervention clearly using assertive language, with supportive tone of voice and body language. The following are examples of the Five (5) most common situations requiring intervention to keep the 19 20
  11. 11. Topic Situation Intervention Topic Situation Intervention Side Bar A member of the Staying on The group has a lot to 1. A friendly reminder: “Just a 1. Invoke the “keep focused” Conversations group is having side- Time cover in their agenda, reminder, we agreed to ‘one ground rule: Suggest the use bar conversations with but they seem to go conversation at a time’ in our of a Parking Lot to capture other participants down rabbit holes and ground rules for today.” items that need to be pursued, throughout Sam’s may veer off into other but are not the focal points for presentation. topics. this meeting. 2. Direct the reminder: Make eye contact (with Susan) and 2. Specifically re-focus on the restate, “One conversation at a particular topic/agenda item: time please.” “I’d just like to remind you that we are discussing item 4, 3. Personalize it: “Susan do you team budget, please hold dis- have a clarification question for cussion on other topics until Sam?” or we get to them.” “Susan I can see that you have 3. Attempt closure of item: something to contribute; when “Team, we have 10 minutes Sam has finished we’ll hear remaining for this item. We from you.” need to re-focus. What do we still need to discuss to con- 4. Make a direct request: “Su- The discussion has clude this item?” san, please hold your com- continued for some “We are almost out of time for ments until Sam has finished.” time and you are run- this item, there appears to be If Susan is the only ning out of time for the more discussion required is one interrupting or 5a. Talk to her at break, one- item. that true?” having side conversa- on-one. Follow-up a yes response with, tions. “What do you need in order to close on this item?” or “Why If there are many peo- 5b. Put the process on hold and are we unable to close on this ple interrupting or hav- ask the group “Do we need to item?” ing side conversations. take a break?” 4. Give participants a choice on how they spend their meet- ing time: “Is this item more The item is truly impor- important than the remaining tant and just wasn’t items on the agenda and if so, given sufficient time for Note: If other participants are reacting to the material, suggest when will you address the the necessary discus- “parking the issue” while completing the current item(s). Address sion and action. other items?” Note: The an- this/these new topics after the speaker or the agenda topic discus- swer should not be to keep going until all the items are sion ends. completed. See “Use of Parking Lot” – page ‘31’ 21 22
  12. 12. Topic Situation Intervention 2. Direct the inquiry: Make Never-Ending eye contact with Bob and Discussion ask, “This sounds to me Never-Ending Information Barriers Follow the same guidelines Cont’d like familiar turf, is this a Discussion under “Staying on Time” it recurring theme?” Then Sometimes a discussion may be that there is insuf- make eye contact with the will not come to closure, ficient valid information to other participants. At this usually because of infor- progress, in which case the point Bob will usually ‘fess mation that is insufficient, team should park the item up’ that this is either a war- inaccurate, or unreliable. for another meeting. If the story that everyone has Sometimes a topic leads remainder of the meeting is heard, or a favorite ‘com- to significant emotional dependant on the comple- plaint.’ Acknowledge him, reactions. tion of this item, then re- ask what key piece of the schedule the meeting with discussion he would like action items to ensure that captured, and then move participants bring whatever on. is required next time. 3. Personalize the request: Personal Agenda or “Bob we agreed that this “Hobby Horse” 1. Gentle interruption: item would remain parked Once you’ve determined (or off-topic), has anything Whenever a topic comes that an individual is in a changed its status?” up, an individual may be- familiar story mode, and gin to recount the same what’s being said does not war stories, etc. You can appear to contribute to the It is unlikely that a person 4. Firmly restate the re- often tell by reading the item under discussion, gen- will continue raising the quest: You can restate the faces of the other partici- tly interrupt him to ask, issue. In the event that he intervention comments un- pants (look for rolling “Bob, excuse my interrup- does. der either 2 or 3 and that eyes). The individual, of- tion, but I’m not sure how should allow the group to ten oblivious of the reac- this fits with our topic. Can continue forward without tions of others, settles you clarify for me?” using up valuable time. into the story. 5. Talk to him privately at break: Give feedback (gen- In the rare case where tly) about the effect his be- the individual cannot let havior is having on the go. group and the session. Ask for his help in keeping the session moving forward. 23 24
  13. 13. 4. Gentle, public reprimand: Topic Situation Intervention Conflict: In a gentle tone say, “Bill de- 1. Apply gentle humor: If you Personal spite my reminders, you con- Conflict: Individual Attacked don’t know this team or the Attacks tinue to make critical com- Personal individuals, observe Joe’s Cont’d ments towards Joe’s ideas. If Attacks A group member reaction and Bill’s demeanor there is a personal disagree- takes “pot shots” at and body language. Say noth- ment between the two of you, other team members. ing the first time unless you it is inappropriate to play it For the example, Bill are sure that it was inten- out here. Can you participate is taking ‘shots’ at tional, or make light of the in this meeting productively or Bill persists with Joe. first occurrence: “I hope that is there another issue which comments aimed at comment isn’t an indication needs to be addressed before Joe that we need armor for this the team can continue?” (This meeting.” gives Bill the opportunity to bow out of the meeting. If he 2. Restate the ground rules: chooses to leave, ask the Make eye contact with Bill team if they can continue and say, “Our ground rules without him) Bill takes another clearly state that….We wel- shot come all ideas, comments The same intervention could that build or clarify ideas etc., be made one-on-one with Bill but not negativity.” at break. Group Attacked 1. Apply gentle humor: If you don’t know this team or the 3. Confront Bill directly: firm Bill is taking potshots individuals, observe their re- words, supportive tone and at everyone. actions and Bill’s demeanor stance. and body language. Say noth- “Bill this is not the first time ing the first time unless you that you have targeted Joe are sure that it was inten- with your remarks, please tional, or make light of the Once again, Bill aims stop.” Then redirect him with first occurrence: “I hope that another sarcastic or “What is the concern you comment isn’t an indication belittling remark at have with the issue/idea? that we need armor for this Joe How would you modify it to meeting.” improve 2. Restate the ground rules: it?” Make eye contact with Bill and say, “Our ground rules Bill takes another clearly state that….We wel- shot come all ideas, comments that build or clarify ideas etc., but not negativity.” 25 26
  14. 14. Topic Situation Intervention Conflict: 3. Address problem directly: Personal Bill continues. At this “Bill you have made several point he has made negative comments to group Returning 1. Light reminder: “Remem- Attacks several remarks to members. Is there something From ber, you agreed to return Cont’d various group mem- else going on that is interfer- Breaks from breaks on time because bers and you have ing with your ability to partici- it helps you finish on time, it’s redirected his com- pate here today?” one of your ground rules.” ments and reminded Or throw it to the team. Team members are Just before the next break him of the ground “Team, how do you feel when late returning from remind the team to be back rules. Bill makes this type of com- breaks. on time, and advise them of ment?” when that is. You may want to lighten the tone by sug- gesting that you all synchro- nize your watches while whis- tling the tune to Mission Im- 4. Personal Confrontation: possible. If the attacks continue and the group is reluctant to say anything to Bill when dis- cussed as in 3 above, then speak to Bill at break as in 2. Ask for input: “Out of curi- Step 4 above. osity, why do you have a ground rule that says return from breaks on time, and yet consistently several people are late returning from break Team members are each time? What do we need chronically late re- to do for this to work?” turning from breaks. Facilitate a discussion around If it is the same the ground rule and expecta- members each time tions – perhaps there aren’t then remind them enough breaks, or they are when they return. too short, members may need some flexibility from time to time to accommodate other needs – build it into the sche- dule at the start of the meet- ings. 27 28
  15. 15. MANAGING DATA amount of memory visible at one time, keeping pages in order, and transcription. Find the tool that works One of the keys to meeting suc- best for you, the participants and your environment. cess is managing the information Then practice with the mechanics (posting flip that the participants are dealing charts, copying the dry-erase board, dealing with with and producing. It is up to the technology of web-based tools) until the medium the facilitator to make sure that doesn't get in the way of your facilitation. everyone hears, sees, and under- stands what is presented, what is Some facilitators use a recorder or scribe to keep offered, what is going on, what is running memory (When used with an electronic tool, agreed to, and that work prod- the recorder is sometimes called a technographer). ucts and decisions are accurately This frees the facilitator to focus on group dynam- captured. ics, traffic control, staying on topic, meeting proc- ess, honoring agreements about working together One way to do this is to keep a running memory. The (ground rules/group norms), and other aspects of running memory is a consciousness thread used to facilitation. Other facilitators prefer to have more keep individuals focused and working on one thing in control of what is recorded, and wield the marker a logical sequence. Running memory is the documen- (or keyboard) themselves. Recording the right tation you post on the walls or otherwise collect things at the right level of detail, summarizing with- where everyone can see it. It is where you keep all out changing essential words, and knowing when to comments, ideas, discussion, agreements, thoughts, check back with the speaker are all skills that re- votes, and decisions, so each person can see “what quire practice, and for some people, just don't fit we're talking about now.” with how they process information. Consider using a recorder, but make sure you know who it is and are Running memory can be kept on flip charts on an ea- comfortable working with them. sel, butcher paper covering the walls, chalk or dry- erase boards, electronic documents projected on a If you are not using an electronic medium for the screen, or shared materials using web-based virtual running memory, you may wish to have a scribe cap- meeting tools. Each of these has advantages and turing the information as you go. Scribing is an art disadvantages in terms of setup, handling, and the form that is very similar to recording. 29 30
  16. 16. Ten Basics of Managing Data KEEP LEARNING AND GROWING 1. Write it Down and Hang It on the Wall 2. Work on one issue at a time. Let the group choose and word the is- sue. Write it Down and Hang It on the Wall Finally, it is important that as a 3. Agree on how to work on that issue. Tap the group wisdom for how to facilitator you continue to learn work before offering your own process. Write it Down and Hang and practice new techniques. Keep It on the Wall 4. When someone offers an idea, Write it Down and Hang It on the a generic meeting evaluation form Wall. If they offer it repeatedly, point to where it is written (see example form in the Attach- down and hanging on the wall. ments section), and have partici- 5. If someone attacks a person for a "dumb" idea, ask them where the idea is written down and hung on the wall. Move to it. Move the pants fill it out anonymously. Review the responses, discussion to the idea, away from the person who offered it. If and incorporate specific suggestions. If you do not additions, qualifications, clarifications, or pros and cons are of- want to use a written meeting evaluation, then set fered, Write it Down and Hang It on the Wall 6. When the group is discussing, voting on, or coming to consensus aside a few minutes at the end of each meeting to around a solution, Write it Down and Hang It on the Wall ask the participants about what meeting processes 7. When the group moves away from the agreed-to issue, go to where worked, and what did not. Ask for suggestions to you wrote it down and hung it on the wall, call their attention to it, and give them the choice to change the issue, go back to the improve the meeting process for the next time. one they agreed to, show how this one affects the one they agree to, or put a time limit on the digression. Whatever they Specific attributes of an effective facilitator in- decide, Write it Down and Hang It on the Wall 8. When the group moves away from the agreed-to process, go to where clude: you wrote it down and hung it on the wall, call their attention to • Openness it, and give them the choice to change the process, go back to • Honesty and fairness the one they agreed to, show how this one affects the one they agree to, or put a time limit on the digression. Whatever they • Consistency in actions decide, Write it Down and Hang It on the Wall • Focus 9. When someone says, "We ought to ______," find out who will. Write • Active listening it Down and Hang It on the Wall 10. Before breaking up, find out when the group will get back together. • Accessibility Write it Down and Hang It on the Wall • Flexibility • Assertiveness The same precautions about choosing a recorder ap- • Enthusiasm ply to choosing a scribe. The facilitator may decide to scribe to control information flow and discussion. These attributes will be covered in more detail in subsequent primers. 31 32
  17. 17. REFERENCES 7.) Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision Making, Same Kaner, New Society Publishers: Philadelphia, PA, 1996 8.) The Complete Guide to Facilitation: Enabling Groups to We have included here a list- Succeed, Tom Justice and David Jamieson, HRD Press: ing of additional reading and Amherst, MA, 1998 information resources to help 9.) The Art of the Focused Conversation: 100 Ways to Access you continue to learn more Group Wisdom in the Workplace, The Canadian Institute about Facilitation. The writ- for Cultural Affairs: New Society Publishers, (ISBN 0- 86571-416-9) ten reference materials listed 10.) Facilitating With Ease: A Comprehensive Guide to the Prac- vary from basic to full-blown tice of Facilitation, Ingrid Bens, Participative Dynamics, instructional texts. The web- Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA sites for the American Society for Quality, the As- sociation for Quality and Participation, ASQ Human Development &Leadership Division, and the Interna- Also you can contact the following organizations for tional Association of Facilitators are good sources training courses and additional topic information: for additional information and course listings. The International Association for Facilitation @ These websites also have areas to post questions or 952.891.3541 for topic experts, and to discuss facilitation topics with others. The Association for Quality and Participation @ or 800.733.3310 1.) Facilitation at a Glance, Ingrid Bens, M.Ed., Goal/QPC & The American Society for Quality AQP: Cincinnati, 1999 2.) The Facilitator Excellence Handbook, Fan Rees, Jossey- @ or 800.248.1946 Bass: San Francisco, CA, 1998 The Human Development & Leadership Division 3.) The Facilitator’s Field Book, Thomas Justice and David W. @ Jamieson, AMACOM: New York, 1999 4.) The Skilled Facilitator: Practical Wisdom for Developing Effective Groups, R. Schwarz, Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, Course Recommendations: CA, 1994 Facilitator 4Hire, Inc., 294 Hook St., Alpharette, 5.) Intervention Skills: Process Consultation for Small Groups and Teams, W.B. Reddy, Pfeiffer & Company, 1994 GA 30004, 770.333.7541, 6.) Facilitation: From Discussion to Decision, A. L. Zimmerman and Carol J. Evans, 33 34
  18. 18. ATTACHMENTS CHARTER/PURPOSE STATEMENT FORM Name: (optional) MEETING AGENDA FORM Members/Participants: Meeting Objective: Who is involved on a regular basis? Meeting Location: Date: Time: Attendees: Sponsor: Who determined the members had to meet? Who is interested in the outcome? Tasks and Activities: Time Allocation: Expected Outcome: Warm-up Outcome and Deliverable: Review Agenda What is the expected result of the meeting? What is the form of that result? A de- cision? A plan? Completed action? 1. 2. 3. Deliverable Due Date: 4. Tasks and Activities: What specific topics/issues need to be addressed? What information needs to be gathered? What decisions need to be made? 5. Assign Actions Plan Next Meeting Critique Meeting Meeting Preparation: Ground Rules: How will participants treat each other during meetings? How will decisions be made? Items/Information to Bring to the Meeting: Copyright 1999 IdeaWorks Copyright 1999 IdeaWorks 35 36
  19. 19. MEETING EVALUATION Meeting length and pace: ◊ Excellent ◊ Above Average ◊ Average ◊ Poor Name (optional):__________________ Comments: Survey Date ___/___/___ Meeting, Workshop, or Training Received: _____________________________________________________ Overall meeting effectiveness: ◊ Excellent ◊ Above Average ◊ Average ◊ Poor Facilitator: Comments: _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ Group/Department/Team: Meeting room: _____________________________________________________ ◊ Excellent ◊ Above Average ◊ Average ◊ Poor _____________________________________________________ Comments: In an effort to evaluate the meeting process and to continuously improve, we are asking you to please take a few minutes to fill out this survey. Re- turn the survey to the Facilitator. The information will only be reviewed by the Facilitator and will be used to determine the effectiveness of the meet- On a scale of 1 to 10, rate the group’s enthusiasm, why? ing/training, the materials provided, and the overall participant experiences to determine what areas can be improved. Please verify that the informa- tion you completed above is correct for the Facilitator and Meeting. Rate each category below by marking your response in the appropriate box. Make any comments that you feel are appropriate for each category. What would you change to improve the meeting’s effectiveness, why? Thank you for your time and participation. Facilitator/Trainer knowledge/ability: ◊ Excellent ◊ Above Average ◊ Average ◊ Poor Comments: Meeting materials, equipment, & tools: ◊ Excellent ◊ Above Average ◊ Average ◊ Poor Comments: 37 38
  20. 20. Notes: International Association of Facilitators © 2002. All rights reserved. This document may be reproduced and shared provided that author and copyright are displayed, and document is not used for commercial pur- poses. For further information or waivers, contact 39 40
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