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  1. 1. FACILITATION: Getting Your Group from A to B Bill Taylor University of Wyoming Community Development Area Educator
  2. 2. Reference <ul><li>The Facilitator’s Fieldbook by Thomas Justice & David W. Jamieson, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Published 1999 by American Management Association </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ISBN 0-8144-7038-6 </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Three Principles of Facilitation <ul><li>Participation is important </li></ul><ul><li>Teams generally perform better than individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Process (how something is done) affects outcome (what is accomplished) </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is Facilitation? <ul><li>Process to enable groups to succeed </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitation is the design and management of structures and processes that help a group do its work and minimize the common problems people have working together </li></ul>
  5. 5. Neutral Process <ul><li>Facilitation is a neutral process (concerning content and participants) that focuses on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What needs to be accomplished </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who needs to be involved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design, flow and sequence of tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication patterns, effectiveness and completeness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appropriate levels of participation and the use of resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group energy, momentum and capability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The physical and psychological environment </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Focus <ul><li>Facilitation focuses on the design and management of processes to enable groups to succeed. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensures: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Right resources at hand and being used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful information generated, shared, used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality decisions made </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What Facilitators Do <ul><li>Neutral guides who take active roles in process management </li></ul><ul><li>They work in 3 main areas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preparation for meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Includes meeting agenda, processes planned, meeting room preparation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working with the group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow-up </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Core Processes <ul><li>Analyzing information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Purposes, outcomes, work context, participants – determining best approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Designing meetings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enable group to succeed using structures, processes, sequences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Establishing group climate, norms, processes </li></ul>
  9. 9. Core Processes (cont.) <ul><li>Creating and implementing structures and processes </li></ul><ul><li>Intervening to manage group dynamics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enforce norms, influence what members do, how they do it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Coaching/training group leaders and members </li></ul>
  10. 10. Core Processes (cont.) <ul><li>Evaluating meeting and facilitation effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Navigating decision processes through established organizational structure </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring follow-up action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Production & distribution of meeting record, results, communication with stakeholders, and implementation of decisions. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Knowledge Base <ul><li>3 basic areas of knowledge that are helpful for facilitation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic principles of adult learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group dynamics and decision making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process consultation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Parliamentary procedure is a specialized subject </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Necessary when group function based around parliamentary law </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Fundamental Skills <ul><li>Contracting </li></ul><ul><li>Designing structured activities and processes </li></ul><ul><li>Listening, paraphrasing, observing, clarifying, elaborating </li></ul><ul><li>Interpreting verbal and non-verbal behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Confronting others </li></ul>
  13. 13. Fundamental Skills (cont.) <ul><li>Managing differences </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborating with others </li></ul><ul><li>Project management </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting management </li></ul><ul><li>Logistic management </li></ul>
  14. 14. Personal Characteristics <ul><li>Steadiness (serenity – calm and centered) </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Assertiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Openness </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Authenticity </li></ul>
  15. 15. Personal Characteristics (cont.) <ul><li>Humility </li></ul><ul><li>Optimism </li></ul><ul><li>Result-oriented attitude </li></ul>
  16. 16. Understanding Group Dynamics & Decision Making <ul><li>Facilitator must identify group dynamics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stages of group maturity are: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forming, storming, norming, performing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of roles during group stages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psycho-social issues – trust, control or power, inclusion, identity or status, autonomy, tolerance, structure, competition, intimacy </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Understanding Group Dynamics & Decision Making (cont.) <ul><li>Facilitator must identify group dynamics (cont.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Task progress – what, how, who, when, where </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership – who leads the group and creates the controls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decision-making processes </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Facilitation Fundamentals <ul><li>Listen intently </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain good eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Trust in the resource of the group – focus on the process </li></ul><ul><li>Always use people’s first names </li></ul><ul><li>Stay awake and present </li></ul><ul><li>Organize, connect and summarize data </li></ul>
  19. 19. Facilitation Fundamentals (cont.) <ul><li>Protect each and every idea offered </li></ul><ul><li>Be a facilitator, not a performer </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage everyone to express themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Be a guide, not the group leader </li></ul><ul><li>Be constantly mindful of outcomes for the group and flexible in achieving those goals </li></ul>
  20. 20. Planning Meeting Tools <ul><li>Vision Statement – a word picture of how the group will perform, what conditions will exist, what the ideal situation will be, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look 5-10 years in the future </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mission Statement – What the group will do to accomplish the vision. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides direction/boundaries for the group/organization </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Values – guiding principles that are important to the operation of the group. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Planning Meeting Tools (cont.) <ul><li>Strategic Planning – outlines what a group intends to do to successfully accomplish its mission in the environment it operates. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategies are created based on analysis and interpretation of the environment </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Building a Data Base <ul><li>To better understand the nature of a given problem so the right solution is made </li></ul><ul><li>Several options: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brainstorming – generate many ideas in response to problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dialogue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversations with no intent other than to gain meaning or understanding </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Building a Data Base (cont.) <ul><li>Several options (cont.): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflective Listening – dialoging technique to encourage deeper conversations prior to problem solving – reflect on a question posed by another person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus Groups – gain input from groups about their preferences for decisions or actions </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Decision Mode <ul><li>Individual – limited to high risk decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Consultative – use group members as consultants to a designated leader to reach quality decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Consultative Consensus – involves consultative while building consensus in the group’s decisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Combines Consultative and Consensus decision techniques </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Decision Mode (cont.) <ul><li>Modified Consensus – enables the group to achieve a type of consensus that ensures that each member of the group is willing to support the decision </li></ul><ul><li>Absolute Consensus – all group members in absolute agreement that decision is best for the group </li></ul>
  26. 26. Decision Mode (cont.) <ul><li>Voting – to reach a group decision when you do not need to build consensus, or when you can’t reach consensus or when operating with a formal voting process </li></ul>
  27. 27. Group Conflict <ul><li>This is a normal part of facilitating any group </li></ul><ul><li>Since it was covered last time we will go on with the assumption you understand that conflict is a normal stage in any group’s development (especially the “storming” stage) and a facilitator should not be taken by surprise when it happens. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Reviewing Group Progress <ul><li>Several Methods: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meeting pluses and minuses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation form </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review accomplishments </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Follow-up <ul><li>Five primary tasks: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preparing the meeting record and output </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicating with and informing others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Obtaining approval of the group’s work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring interim and implementation work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying the need for additional group work </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Meeting Minutes <ul><li>Record agenda items and actions and assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Other types of data can be incorporated into meeting minutes such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Members present, absent, others attending </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leader of the meeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Next meeting date </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summaries of discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motions and votes if parliamentary law is used </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Questions?