Getting started as a facilitator and improving your practice doesn’t need to be daunting.
Check out our resources on the fundamentals of facilitation to learn all about becoming an effective facilitator and brush up on your core facilitation skills!
Learning from the real life experiences and best practices of other facilitators is a great way to improve your skills, get inspired and add new ideas to your toolbox.
In this series, we’ll explore stories from the frontline, share practical tips, and reflect on the experiences of expert facilitators.
Techniques, methods, activities and games: there are so many ways a facilitator can engage a group and help them reach their goals.
Add new methods to your facilitation toolbox and learn how and when you might use them with our techniques and methods collection!
Whether you’re looking for games to energise a group, solve problems or build leadership skills, we have a set of activities for you!
Want to learn about a particular aspect of facilitation or group dynamics? Take a deep dive on your chosen subject with one of our long-form guides.
We cover everything from virtual facilitation, setting up your room for an engaging session and using facilitation frameworks for success.
Become a better facilitator and learn how to approach some of the challenges you might encounter in your facilitation career!
Facilitation is the art of guiding a group through a process in a neutral, supportive manner that makes it easier for everyone to participate, be heard, and come together to achieve their goal.
Common processes that might need to be facilitated include workshops, events, training sessions and meetings. But facilitation is much more than just running effective sessions.
Facilitation often means creating space for transformative discussions, removing the obstacles between a group and its goals, and helping guide a group towards creating change.
As part of any facilitation process, a facilitator will help encourage participation, spark creativity and promote ownership from all those involved.
If you’re a leader, a manager or someone who runs workshops and events, chances are you already practice many aspects of facilitation. This is great but is only the first step!
By understanding the theory and practice of facilitation and purposefully applying these concepts, you can achieve great results: true innovation, engaged and high-performing teams, effective problem solving, and better outcomes across the board.
Facilitation has almost as many definitions as there are people facilitating! What ties the practice together is a mindset and a belief that all groups have the power to change and find solutions to their problems – sometimes they just need a little guidance. That’s where facilitation comes in!
Remember that facilitation isn’t about giving people a solution to their challenges but instead, making it easier for them to discover and create a solution themselves.
A facilitator is someone who designs and runs group processes that make it easy for everyone to contribute and achieves a shared goal.
When designing, the facilitator creates a structured process that creates a space, atmosphere and framework that will guide a group toward their desired outcomes.
Whether it’s a one-hour meeting or a two-day workshop, the facilitator is the person who creates an agenda or plan for the session. They’ll liaise with stakeholders to make sure the process is fit for purpose and ensure that the session is flexible enough to account for group dynamics.
A facilitator also guides and manages the group through the process, ensuring that any challenges are navigated and that the process is as smooth and successful as possible. At each stage, their role is to make the most of the time a group has together.
They will encourage participation, help conversations be more productive, and also help ensure everything is recorded and acted upon.
As mentioned above, many leaders, teachers and managers use aspects of facilitation in their day-to-day work. What differentiates a facilitator is that they deliberately plan and organize processes to help a group collectively move forward. Facilitators are not there to give orders, provide solutions or gift-wrap meaning. Facilitators enable everyone in the group to contribute to their own success with proven techniques, methods and their own facilitation style
Leaders and team members all come with their own biases, priorities and histories. When solving an organizational challenge, these existing conditions inevitably come into play. The position of facilitator involves remaining neutral, helping the group and offering guidance in pursuit of a common goal.
You’ve likely been a part of an unproductive meeting or workshop. Nothing gets done, people talk over one another and you leave the session with less clarity than before. Your goal has been forgotten, resentment between team members sets in and you’re less able to solve issues together as a team.
Bringing facilitation to your workshops, meetings, and events helps make them a success. The difference between a session that has been planned and led by a facilitator is stark.
Facilitation helps you save time, money, effort and division. Workshops and meetings run by designed and run by facilitators also see better outcomes, ideas, and solutions.
But remember, the importance of facilitation goes well beyond a single great workshop or productive meeting. Facilitation techniques and practices help create bonds, build skills and create more resilient and engaged teams.
Facilitation is all about helping a group learn how to come together to solve problems, connect to others and meet a shared goal. Teams that practice facilitation and actively apply its teachings into their day-to-day work are more resilient and are better positioned for change and uncertainty.
As a leader, can you afford to have disconnected, unproductive and unhappy teams? Facilitation is the key to effective, high-performing processes and groups and it’s never been more important than now.
Need an icebreaker to kick-start your workshop, or energizer to transition the group to a new activity?
Browse among hundreds of tried and tested workshop activities and templates and add the ones you need to your session plan.