Facilitator survival kit handbook


Published on

Handbook introductory to basic facilitation, based in the training course. Wants to know more about facilitation, training in non formal educaction, being a facilitator with young people? You can check our manual here!

From definition to some basic concepts as role and competences of a facilitator, group dynamics, receiving and giving feedback, session and program planning, conflict management & conflict resolution, debriefing, learning to learn, learning theories (multiple intelligences), coaching, and some educational materials and references - you can find the basics here!!!

Published in: Education, Technology
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Facilitator survival kit handbook

  1. 1. Basic facilitation handbook
  2. 2. INDEX Contenido INDEX ............................................................................................................... 2 Introduction .......................................................................................................... 3 What is facilitation? ............................................................................................... 5 Definition ........................................................................................................... 5 Contexts of a facilitator ....................................................................................... 6 Role and competences of a facilitator ....................................................................... 7 Role of a facilitator .............................................................................................. 7 Competences of a facilitator ................................................................................. 9 Group dynamics ...................................................................................................10 What is a group and group dynamics? ..................................................................10 Theory of Tuckman ............................................................................................13 Multiple intelligence ..............................................................................................16 References ..........................................................................................................18 EXTRAS ...............................................................................................................19 Competences of a facilitator ................................................................................19 2
  3. 3. Introduction In June 2013, in the Spanish region of Castilla y León (to be more concrete, in the beautiful city of Salamanca) was held a training course called “Facilitator Survival kit”, with the support of the “Youth in Action” European program, the Spanish National Agency, the Youth institute of Castilla y León, and organized by the “Posibilidades de Futuro” association. It was a training that worked the basic competences in facilitation, from a theoretical point of view (definition, styles, roles) as well as practice (experience from the participants and partner organizations, study cases; resources and tools in facilitation). The main aim was to provide participants with basic competences in facilitating group process with young people both in local and national level as well as in an international context. In this course 29 participants took part (group leaders, youth people or youth workers) from 14 different countries(Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Spain, Estonia, Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic and Romania). 3
  4. 4. The participants realized a number of activities where they gained or increased their knowledge about the basic theory in facilitation and their own style as facilitators, sharing experiences and understanding the roles that are established within the group dynamics. They developed skills, attitudes and strategies that a facilitator needs when leading a group, and they acquired resources and tools that will allow them to keep on working on their competences as facilitators in the future. The methods that were applied were those of non formal education, where the learning was active and participative and it was centered in the learner and based in the experience. It was also very important for the team to get the maximum possible visibility for the project, especially during the activities in the training with the participants in Salamanca (that has a big population of youngster coming both from a national and an international background). Some of the work done by the participants that has been compiled, together with the news about the actions realized and the resources about facilitation, can be found in the website of the association: www.acpdf.com/fsk With the material and resources about facilitation, “Posibilidades de Futuro” association has done this small digital booklet in order to disseminate the information of the training in an easy way to the partners and any other person that is interested in the facilitation with young people. The new about this experience has been published by the Spanish National Agency: http://www.juventudenaccion.injuve.es/modules/experiences/experiences_0096.html?__locale=en 4
  5. 5. What is facilitation? Definition If we take a look in the dictionary, we can find that facilitation “is the act of making easy or easier”, or “the act of process of facilitating”, as well as “to assist the progress of (a person)”. A person who takes on such a role is called a facilitator. Kaner defines facilitator as follows: "A facilitator is an individual who enables groups and organizations to work more effectively; to collaborate and achieve synergy. She or he is a “content-neutral” party who by not taking sides or expressing or advocating a point of view during the meeting, can advocate for fair, open, and inclusive procedures to accomplish the group’s work. A facilitator can also be learning or a dialogue guide to assist a group in thinking deeply about its assumptions, beliefs, and values and about its systemic processes and context"(Kaner: 2007: xv) What a facilitator does is plan, guide and manage a group event to ensure that the group's objectives are met effectively, with clear thinking, good participation and full buy-in from everyone who is involved. To facilitate effectively, you must be objective. This doesn't mean you have to come from outside the organization or team, though. It simply means that, for the purposes of this group process, you will take a neutral stance. You step back from the detailed content and from your own personal views, and focus purely on the group process (we talk later about “group process”). The secret of great facilitation is a group process that flows – and with it will flow the group's ideas, solutions, and decisions too. Your key responsibility as a facilitator is to create this group process and an environment in which it can flourish, and so help the group reach a successful decision, solution or conclusion. 5
  6. 6. Contexts of a facilitator There are different contexts in which a facilitator can be active. For the team of this training, these main contexts can be classified in: - Training: Training facilitators are used in adult education. These facilitators are not always subject experts, and attempt to draw on the existing knowledge of the participant(s), and to then facilitate access to training where gaps in knowledge are identified and agreed on. Training facilitators focus on the foundations of adult education: establish existing knowledge, build on it and keep it relevant. The role is different from a trainer with subject expertise. Such a person will take a more leading role and take a group through an agenda designed to transmit a body of knowledge or a set of skills to be acquired. - Coaching: Coaching facilitators provides individual attention. They attempt to draw in the personal and learning process of an individual, in order to focus in creating a path for personal change. They aim for the participant to clarify areas that need improvement, understand the changes, and provide feedback and discussions to keep on the track. Such a person works more in the personal development, motivation, encouragement and trust. - Consulting: A consulting facilitator will work with a client (an organization or a diverse group), in order to assist in a specific subject. They will try to understand the purpose and outcome of the meeting by discussing it with the client. - Leader: A leader facilitator could be someone leading implementation teams or directing and managing their own business units. They have authority to make decisions for their group while serving as facilitator during meetings or planning sessions. They are deeply involved in issues and are content (subject, task, problem, …) and process (methods, relations, tools, rules, …) experts. - Conference: In a conference, the facilitator would be a kind of “air traffic controller”. They control who is allowed to address the room at any particular time, asking focusing questions, trying to keep the meeting on theme, and wrapping up the discussion with the final conclusions and “takes aways”. - Debate: In a debate, a facilitator aim to keep the debate running to time. They will try to make everyone feel at ease, ensuring that everybody has the opportunity to have their say and not allowing one individual to dominate it. They ensure the debate stays close to the topic, summarizing an agreed statement for each topic. At the end they will gain group agreement for the agreed statements. 6
  7. 7. Role and competences of a facilitator Role of a facilitator When people talk or think about the role of a facilitator there are many differing and frequently erroneous perceptions about what that role entails. Some people think of facilitators only as “super time keepers” handling the task of keeping the meeting or session moving forward in a timely manner. Others see them as “flip chart secretaries” responsible for recording the information and keeping track of everything that results from the meeting, perhaps even transcribing it. Some people seek out a facilitator because they are looking for a sideline cheerleader as support or someone to do the meeting planning or manage the logistics. Perceptions like this are a result of a misunderstanding or lack of understanding about the essential role of facilitator. So what is a more productive way to view the role of facilitator? An important first step is to understand that facilitation is a type of process-oriented leadership that involves interactions between two or more people. We call it process-oriented leadership because facilitation is, in part, about understanding, planning and managing process. Process is the “how we are going to do the work” as opposed to “what we are going to work on” which is the content. Facilitators therefore are engaged in making decisions about what process component and stage to enter as well as the tools that are appropriate for the task and the group at hand. Facilitation is about taking a leadership role in process and leaving the leadership of content to the individual or group that owns the content (the client). Facilitators help to unleash the creative potential in people through believing in the innate creativity of each individual as well as expecting and encouraging the best in people. They manage the environment of the group so that each individual is able to contribute their best. This requires a knowledge and understanding of how people differ when they are involved in solving problems and managing change along with an ability to be flexible. 7
  8. 8. During our training, the participants were discussing different roles that a facilitator can take, as well as discussing the characteristics / competences for each of these roles. The result of this work is summarized here. Roles that a facilitator can take: - Learner: o o Openminded o - Be subtle Capacity to accept / learn mistakes Need analyser: o o Foresee different situations o Asking good questions o - Ask what people need (learn, do, …) Overview of the situation Evaluator: o o Be proactive o - Open for feedback To summarize Resource person: o o Know types of resources o Foresee different situations o Observer o Listener o Relevant o - Being flexible / improvise Empathy Designer: o o Stick with process o Time management o Planning skills o - Creativity Methods (evaluation ( facilitation) Team player: o o Conflict management o Sense of humor o - Being aware of emotions (own & group) Curious as a learner Learning supporter: 8
  9. 9. o Provide info o Encourage learner o Activate previous knowledge o Know about the process of learning o Know tools that stimulate learning o Communication skills o Be confident o Asking good questions Competences of a facilitator What are the competences one needs and which actions one needs to take to fulfill this task in each different role? This is the question we tried to answer during the course, and for which the participants were doing some work in groups. The team also created a self-assessment tool with competences of a facilitator that facilitates group process with young people; this tool is organized in knowledge, skills and attitudes. The competences included in this tool, could be summarized in: Knowledge: Group process, facilitation methods, define good objectives, phases of a debriefing, feedback, phases of a session and programme, conflict theory and management, and understand different sides of an argument. Some specific subjects as non formal education, intercultural learning, learning needs. Skills: Those linked with previous knowledge (as evaluate a group process, identify learning needs of a group, run a debriefing, give useful feedback or design a facilitation session). Some others related to work in a team, communication (asking questions, speaking for a group, listen actively, express clearly), adapt to the group, motivation, make conclusions, provide resources, evaluate the impact, make the learning process fun and playful. Attitudes: Being empathic, flexible (open for change), creative, neutral, authentic, open to other people’s opinion and to work with other people. Enjoy what you are doing. Willingness to connect with people, to learn new things. 9
  10. 10. Group dynamics If you make a research in Google, you can find a lot of information in group dynamics. So if you are really interested in this subject, we invite you to have a look out there. But here some info just to provide you with some basics. What is a group and group dynamics? When we talk about group dynamics or group process, we can start defining a group as a number of people that are located, gathered or classed together. To be more specific, a social group is people sharing some social relation and has collectively a sense of unity; two or more people who interact with one another, exhibit some degree of social cohesion. Their members share some characteristics that may include interests, values, representations, ethnic or social background, and kinship ties (social bond based on common ancestry, marriage, or adoption). In a similar vein, some researchers consider the defining characteristic of a group the social interaction. Renowned social psychologist Muzafer Sherif formulated a technical definition with the following elements: “A social unit consisting of a number of individuals interacting with each other with respect to: • Common motives and goals • An accepted division of labor, i.e. roles • Established status (social rank, dominance) relationships • Accepted norms and values with reference to matters relevant to the group • Development of accepted sanctions (praise and punishment) if and when norms were respected or violated” 10
  11. 11. A collection of individuals who have regular contact and frequent interaction, mutual influence, common feeling of camaraderie, and who work together to achieve a common set of goals. A social group is an entity, which has qualities that cannot be understood just by studying the individuals that make up the group. Group dynamics refers to a system of behaviors and psychological processes occurring within a social group, or between social groups. Intragroup dynamics (also referred to as ingroup-, within-group, or commonly just ‘group dynamics’) are the underlying processes that give rise to a set of norms, roles, relations, and common goals that characterize a particular social group. Amongst the members of a group, there is a state of interdependence, through which the behaviors, attitudes, opinions, and experiences of each member are collectively influenced by the other group members. Group formation starts with a psychological bond between individuals. Through interaction, individuals begin to develop group norms, roles, and attitudes which define the group, and are internalized to influence behavior. Group cohesion refers to the processes that keep members of a social group connected. Terms such as attraction, solidarity, and morale are often used to describe this. Group cohesion is thought to be one of the most important characteristics of a group, and has been linked to group performance, intergroup conflict and therapeutic change. Lewin defined group cohesion as the willingness of individuals to stick together, and believed that without cohesiveness a group could not exist. Individual behavior is influenced by the presence of others. For example, studies have found that individuals work harder and faster when others are present, and that an individual’s performance is reduced when others in the situation create distraction or conflict. Groups also influence individual’s decision-making processes. These include decisions related to ingroup bias, persuasion, obedience, and groupthink. There are both positive 11
  12. 12. and negative implications of group influence on individual behavior. This type of influence is often useful in the context of work settings, team sports, and political activism. However, the influence of groups on the individual can also generate extremely negative behaviors, evident in Nazi Germany for example. Why could it be interesting to know and understand the dynamics within a group? Because then we can understand their decision-making behavior, and the characteristics and behavior of any of the members that will be influenced by the group, and will be different that if we just studied the individuals. We can know why a group keeps connected, and work on their performance or to avoid conflicts. We can increase the chance that a group will be successful, or their effectiveness. We would like to finish with the following ground rules for Effective groups, defined by Roger Schwarz: 1. Test assumptions and inferences. 2. Share all relevant information. 3. Use specific examples, and agree on what important words mean. 4. Explain your reasoning and intent. 5. Focus on interests, not positions. 6. Combine advocacy and inquiry. 7. Jointly design steps and ways to test disagreements. 8. Discuss undiscussable issues. 9. Use a decision-making rule that generates the level of commitment needs. 12
  13. 13. Theory of Tuckman Bruce W. Tuckman was one of the first psychologists to study and define group dynamics. In 1965, Tuckman recognized and defined the stages of group development. He also suggested that groups must experience all five stages of development to reach maximum effectiveness. These stages of development also help you to understand other basic principles that come into play during group dynamics. Tuckman first described four distinct stages, but later added a fifth. Groups go through these stages subconsciously but the understanding of the stages can help groups reach the last stage effectively. The five stages are forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. Although groups go through these stages in the order listed, a group can be at a later stage, then go back to a previous stage before continuing forward. For example, a group might be working efficiently in the performing phase but the arrival of a new member might force them back into the storming stage. We describe each of these stages: 1) Forming: Orientation, testing and dependence. Pretending to get on or get along with others. First stage of team building. The members of the team get to know one another, exchange some personal information, and make new friends. This is also a good opportunity to see how each member of the team works as an individual and how they respond to pressure. The individual's behavior is driven by a desire to be accepted by the others, and avoid controversy or conflict. Serious issues and feelings are avoided, and people focus on being busy with routines, such as team organization, who does what, when to meet, etc. Individuals are also gathering information and impressions – about each other, and about the scope of the task and how to approach it. 13
  14. 14. This is a comfortable stage to be in, but the avoidance of conflict and threat means that not much actually gets done. The team meets and learns about the opportunities and challenges, and then agrees on goals and begins to tackle the tasks. Team members tend to behave quite independently, they are usually on their best behavior but very focused on themselves. They may be motivated but are usually relatively uninformed of the issues and objectives of the team. Mature team members begin to model appropriate behavior even at this early phase. 2) Storming: Resistance to group influence and tasks requirements. Letting down the politeness barrier and trying to get down to the issues even if tempers flare up In this stage, different ideas compete for consideration. The team addresses issues such as what problems they are really supposed to solve, how they will function independently and together and what leadership model they will accept. Team members open up to each other and confront each other's ideas and perspectives. In some cases storming can be resolved quickly. In others, the team never develops past this stage. The maturity of some team members usually determines whether the team will ever move out of this stage. Some team members will focus on minutiae to evade real issues. The storming stage is necessary to the growth of the team. It can be contentious, unpleasant and even painful to members of the team who are averse to conflict. Tolerance of each team member and their differences should be emphasized. Without tolerance and patience the team will fail. This phase can become destructive to the team and will lower motivation if allowed to get out of control. Supervisors of the team during this phase may be more accessible, but tend to remain directive in their guidance of decision-making and professional behavior. The team members will therefore resolve their differences and members will be able to participate with one another more comfortably. The ideal is that they will not feel that they are being judged, and will therefore share their opinions and views. Normally tension, struggle and sometimes arguments occur. This stage can also be upsetting. 14
  15. 15. 3) Norming: Openness to other group members. Getting used to each other and developing trust and productivity. The team manages to have one goal and come to a mutual plan for the team at this stage. Some may have to give up their own ideas and agree with others to make the team function. In this stage, all team members take the responsibility and have the ambition to work for the success of the team's goals. The danger here is that members may be so focused on preventing conflict that they are reluctant to share controversial ideas. 4) Performing: Constructive action. Working in a group to a common goal on a highly efficient and cooperative basis. It is possible for some teams to reach this stage. These high-performing teams can function as a unit as they find ways to get the job done smoothly and effectively without inappropriate conflict or the need for external supervision. By this time, they are motivated and knowledgeable. The team members are now competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision. Dissent is expected and allowed as long as it is channeled through means acceptable to the team. Supervisors of the team during this phase are almost always participative. The team will make most of the necessary decisions. Even the most high-performing teams will revert to earlier stages in certain circumstances. Many long-standing teams go through these cycles many times as they react to changing circumstances. For example, a change in leadership may cause the team to revert to storming as the new people challenge the existing norms and dynamics of the team. 5) Adjourning or Mourning: Disengagement. Dissolution of a group (added later by Tuckman). This stage involves completing the task and breaking up the team. This model refers to the overall pattern of the group, but of course individuals within a group work in different ways. If distrust persists, a group may never even get to the norming stage. 15
  16. 16. Multiple intelligence In the 1970s, Howard Gardner, a professor of education at Harvard University, started questioning the traditional definition of intelligence on which intelligence tests were based. Gardner worked with talented children and adults who had brain damage. He found that people had many other gifts and talents that weren't necessarily reflected in the traditional ideals of intelligence. In 1983, Gardner published the book "Frames of Mind," which outlined seven different types of intelligence. Ten years later, he added an eighth type. This multiple intelligences (MI) theory became a popular model for understanding the many ways in which human intelligence exists. The initial intelligences are: Visual-Spatial - think in terms of physical space, as do architects and sailors. Very aware of their environments. They like to draw, do jigsaw puzzles, read maps, daydream. They can be taught through drawings, verbal and physical imagery. Tools include models, graphics, charts, photographs, drawings, 3-D modeling, video, videoconferencing, television, multimedia, texts with pictures/charts/graphs. Bodily-kinesthetic - use the body effectively, like a dancer or a surgeon. Keen sense of body awareness. They like movement, making things, touching. They communicate well through body language and be taught through physical activity, hands-on learning, acting out, role playing. Tools include equipment and real objects. Musical - show sensitivity to rhythm and sound. They love music, but they are also sensitive to sounds in their environments. They may study better with music in the background. They can be taught by turning lessons into lyrics, speaking rhythmically, tapping out time. Tools include musical instruments, music, radio, stereo, CD-ROM, multimedia. Interpersonal - understanding, interacting with others. These students learn through interaction. They have many friends, empathy for others, street smarts. They can be taught through group activities, seminars, dialogues. Tools include the telephone, audio 16
  17. 17. conferencing, time and attention from the instructor, video conferencing, writing, computer conferencing, E-mail. Intrapersonal - understanding one's own interests, goals. These learners tend to shy away from others. They're in tune with their inner feelings; they have wisdom, intuition and motivation, as well as a strong will, confidence and opinions. They can be taught through independent study and introspection. Tools include books, creative materials, diaries, privacy and time. They are the most independent of the learners. Linguistic - using words effectively. These learners have highly developed auditory skills and often think in words. They like reading, playing word games, making up poetry or stories. They can be taught by encouraging them to say and see words, read books together. Tools include computers, games, multimedia, books, tape recorders, and lecture. Logical –Mathematical - reasoning, calculating. Think conceptually, abstractly and are able to see and explore patterns and relationships. They like to experiment, solve puzzles, ask cosmic questions. They can be taught through logic games, investigations, mysteries. They need to learn and form concepts before they can deal with details. 17
  18. 18. References http://infed.org/mobi/facilitating-learning-and-change-in-groups-and-group-sessions/ http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/RoleofAFacilitator.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facilitation_(business) http://www.seriesyonkis.com/serie/the-walking-dead http://www.virginia.edu/processsimplification/resources/Facilitator.pdf http://www.cpsb.com/research/communique/featured-articles/Understanding-the-roleof-Facilitator.pdf http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/RoleofAFacilitator.htm#sthash.t3qwEarf.dpuf http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/RoleofAFacilitator.htm http://www.iaf-world.org/index/ToolsResources/TrainingDirectory.aspx http://iaf-world.org/index/ToolsResources/IAFJournal/IAFJournal.aspx http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/ijpbl/vol1/iss1/4/ http://facilitatoru.com/blog/free-resources/ http://blog.kevineikenberry.com/ http://www.learncom.com/productSearch.do?key=communication http://infed.org/mobi/facilitating-learning-and-change-in-groups-and-group-sessions/ 18
  19. 19. EXTRAS Competences of a facilitator Knowledge: • Know how a conflict develops and how to deal with it • Understand how a group process works • Know a wide variety of facilitation methods • Know how to define good objectives • Know the different phases of a debriefing • Know the basic guidelines of giving feedback • Knowledge about Non-Formal education • Knowledge about intercultural learning • Knowledge about different phases of a session and a programme • Understand that different people have different learning needs • Understand different sides of an argument Skills: • Asking questions that make people reflect • Self-assessing your own learning and learning needs • Speaking for a group • Choosing appropriate methods • Giving useful feedback in an educational context • Supporting a group in defining their needs • Adapt facilitation to the target group you are working with • Motivate individuals in the group • Make the learning process fun and playful • Design a facilitation session • Design a facilitation programme • Facilitate a group discussion • Make conclusions • Giving useful feedback in an educational context • Supporting a group in identifying what they have achieved • Identify learning needs of a group 19
  20. 20. • Listen actively • Express, thoughts, feelings and emotions clearly • Identify in which phase a group is in a group process • Identify methods that support the group/individuals in the group process phase they are in • Not letting your own opinion or cultural identity influence the group process • Work together in a team • Run a debriefing • Provide resources for a group • Evaluate a group process • Evaluate the impact of an activity Attitudes: • Being empathic • Being open for change (flexibility) • Willingness to connect with the people of your group • Being neutral • Being creative in methods and approach • Being authentic (who you are) • Willingness to learn new things • Openness to work together with other people • Being genuinely interested in other people • Being open to other people´s opinion • Enjoy what you are doing 20