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