4 What is a facilitator? Literally means: ‘making things easy’ A person who helps a group or team to:achieve results in interactive eventsUse a range of skills and methodsbring the best out in people as they work togetherfocus on the process of - how
5 What a facilitator is NOT participant in the teamteam leaderteam organizer/administrator,negotiator on the team’s behalf,servant who simply does the bidding of the teamexpert trainer
6 Facilitator’s Role: Overview cope with uncertaintyuse power of credibility to help address issuesbe calm in times of emotionsupport and counsel othersbe understandablemobilize energyexamine difficult issues and help others to do sotake themselves less seriouslyemphasize success
7 The facilitator focuses on: The process of conducting a meetingMaintaining focus on the end resultsIn the loosest definition, a facilitator is any person who jumps up during a meeting and starts writing key points as they are being discussed.It can also be someone who puts up their hand and suggests that the participants focus on a single problem.It can be someone who suggests that the group create meeting guidelines.
8 Why do meetings need facilitators? Two heads are better than one.To assure that better decisions are made, meetings often need to be facilitated.A well facilitated team meeting is generally more effective and more efficient.The underlying assumption in holding meetings is that two (or more) heads are better than one and better decisions can be made if there is more input.
9 Reasons for Meetings Decision making To share information To plan work To learn from one anotherCreate buy-in for a project or programTo solve problemsThe result of the meeting may be seen in the decisions made for the department or the City. It could also improvements to a system or a process used in the work area. In some cases, the meeting may have more than one purpose or the purpose may shift over time.No matter what the meeting’s purpose, participants need to clearly understand the goal and how to work together. One misconception about meetings is that getting all the experts in the same room will automatically produce good results. In actuality, getting the experts together is just the beginning, the beginning of being able to work together effectively.Learning to work together does not necessarily come naturally. Nor is it always easy. The role of the facilitator is to help the participants learn how to work together by providing the structure (process) while they remain focused on the content. In any meeting, the facilitator must constantly balance process with content. Processes include the methods and tools used to help people interact productively with each other, including how decisions are made and making sure everyone has an equal voice. Content focuses on topics or subjects under discussion at any meeting. Determining the tools and methods to use that create this balance is an important task the facilitator must perform. Time spent in thoughtful preparation goes far to assure a successful meeting.
10 Preparation and Planning If you have a chance to prepare before the meeting, take advantage of it!Preparation involves deciding what methods and tools to use/provide during the training.RememberWho, What, When, Where, Why, How
11 Why is the meeting being held? What tasks are planned?What is the overall goal of the meeting?Is the meeting only a part of a larger goal?Who is invited?If decisions need to be made, are the right people going to be present? Who is not going to be at the meetingWhen is the meeting scheduled?How long will it be?Where is the meeting to be held?How is the room arranged?Do the participants know each other?What is the history of the participants?
12 Preparation and Planning Planning – Once information is gathered about the meeting, the facilitator can start planning.Decide which tools and/or techniques to use during the meeting.VotingDiscussionOnce information is gathered about the meeting, the facilitator can start planning. During the planning stage, the facilitator needs to decide which tool or technique to use where. For example, while using a voting system for decision-making is fast and efficient, it may leave too many people dissatisfied with the result. Therefore, more discussion or consensus building may be called for. There are a couple of tools that need to be reviewed and developed during planning. These include meeting agendas, and ground rules.
13 Meeting AgendasDefined: The meeting agenda is the document that defines what will take place at a meeting.A meeting agenda should contain:the date, time, and location of the meetingthe objective of the meeting,and the list of tasks to be addressed.It is a good practice to allot times for each task (or agenda item) to help assure that the meeting will end on time.If the agenda has not been prepared and distributed, the facilitator should get the pertinent information to the attendees to ensure that the necessary people attend and that they come prepared.The facilitator uses the agenda prior to the meeting to determine specific processes to be used, and during the meeting to keep discussions on track.Meeting agendas help participants know what to expect and how to prepare for the meeting
15 Ground RulesGround rules help meeting participants establish appropriate ways to interact with each other during the meeting.Common Ground Rules:Attend all meetings and be on time.Listen to and show respect for the opinions of othersFollow the agenda -stay on trackThe only stupid question is the one that isn’t askedEnsure that credit is given to those to whom it is dueNo disruptive side conversationsCell phones and pagers off or on vibrate.If the meeting involves a team, the team will probably already have established ground rules. If the participants have never met or only meet occasionally, they may not have developed ground rules. If this is the case, be prepared to develop them at the beginning of the meeting. The rules do not have to be extensive. They may be as simple as “treat each other with respect” or “everyone has an equal voice.” Another important aspect of the ground rules is making sure that participants understand how decisions are to be made. It may be necessary to discuss the options with the team if they do not already have a decision-making norm. Options may include multi-voting, majority rule, consensus, or a combination of two different methods.
16 Focusing on the Meeting It is important for the facilitator to properly prepare for the meeting. It is equally important for the participants to be focused.A meeting without focus will usually be unproductive, and may result in conflict.To focus the meeting effectively, the facilitator needs to be concerned with both elements of conducting meetings mentioned previously - the content and the process.Making sure participants understand the meeting agenda and ground rules provides not only a basis for them to stay focused on the task and the process but also provides a basis for facilitator intervention which helps the team stay on track. At the beginning of the meeting, the facilitator needs to review the meeting agenda and ground rules to ensure everyone understands, agrees to, and will abide by them.If the ground rules do not exist, then you must assist the participants in developing them. A quick and easy way to develop a list of ground rules at the beginning of a meeting is to ask the participants, “When you attend meetings, what lights your fire and what burns you up?” You will sometimes get surprising responses, but don’t try to force them into a common mold. Remember, each meeting has a unique character that you have to work with and respect.
17 Keeping the Meeting on Track Keeping the team on track starts with good preparation and includes the use of appropriate process intervention.Process intervention is an interruption by the facilitator of the meeting process and conversation in order to refocus the participants and/or to rebalance group interactions.Most interventions can link back to the posted ground rules or group norms. As a guideline, always start with the lowest level of intervention, which is the least obvious and least threatening to the individual or group. As facilitator, your goal is to support the participants in achieving their desired outcomes by staying on track and balancing participation with results, so interventions must be supportive. Speak the intervention clearly using assertive language, with supportive tone of voice and body language.
18 Keeping the Meeting on Track The following are examples of the Five (5) most common situations requiring intervention to keep the meeting on track, with example suggestions on how to intervene in each situation.Side-Bar ConversationsStaying on TimeNever Ending DiscussionConflict (personal attacks)Returning from BreaksProcess Intervention & Desired outcomes:1.) To keep the process on track and moving forward with all participants engaged, making best use of time and resources.2.) Balance participation with the meeting results.3.) Often, agenda items spawn dialogue among a small group who have important views to share with each other. However, when other attendees have no interest in the conversation, they become bystanders at their own meeting. One option is to make the spontaneous break-out session public by saying: "This discussion appears to involve only a few people. Is it something that can be resolved rapidly or is there another way to handle this? What does the group want to do?" Once you know what to look for, keeping a meeting focused is something almost anyone can master.4.) Keep track of what has been accomplished and what needs further attention. Those items that do not have to be immediately dealt with can be held over till the next meeting. If an item must have attention either deal with it at the current meeting and set other items aside or set a meeting specific to the problem.5.) It is up to the facilitator to bring the group back on track and to focus on the purpose of the meeting. If there are other issues that arise, they should be dealt with at another time.6.) It’s always important to establish a spirit of collaboration, trust, and respect early in the meeting, and it’s absolutely critical when you expect conflict. While conflict can promote the airing of different perspectives and increase the options being considered, conflict that is hurtful or angry can impede the process. One of the best ways to deal with negative conflict is to prevent it from happening.Set ground rules for the meetingSet the stage for agreement by clearly stating the goal and challenge the group to succeedRemind the group of their mission.7.) Returning from breaks should be part of the initial ground rules. Thank the group for returning promptly from breaks and how that helps the group stay on task.
19 Group processes: intervening model appropriate behaviorensure involvementenable understandingkeep a task-related focuspush for action outcomesmanage timeensure that a record is created
21 Questioning Use O P E N to probe: Use CLOSED (yes/no answers) “Who, why, what, when, how?”Use CLOSED (yes/no answers)to redirect/ summarize:“Are you saying that…?”
22 Questioning Use YOU questions How do you see this? What are your priorities?How important is to you?Tell me more about ?What if Why How......?
23 Using Feedback Help participants to think through these questions: 1. What did you do well?2. What could you have doneeven better?3. What prevented you from doingeven better; what’s the plan todo even better in the future?
24 Conflict Handling identify points of agreement reformulate contributions to highlight common ideasencourage people to build on others’ ideastest for false consensustest consensus for relevance/motivation
25 Cross-Cultural Dynamics Variable language skillsRecognition of cultural differences without reinforcing stereotypesDifferent cultural norms about politeness and communication style i.e. interruption & argumentativenessAwareness of perceived status differences between culturesLoyalty towards one’s own cultural group
26 Code of Cross-Cultural Conduct We appreciate & enjoy cultural diversityWe accept that our own perceptions are coloured by our own upbringing/cultureWe empathise with other’s viewWe are open-minded and we don’t stereotype other nationalsWe openly discuss how our different cultural backgrounds may be influencing an issue
27 Code of Cross-Cultural Conduct We recognise and accept that physical contact differs across culturesWe recognise that language is a barrier and make allowances without being patronisingWe always double-check understandingWe plan our communication to eliminate the negative and accentuate the positiveWe communicate in a clear, direct, honest and open way
28 Helpful Attitudes & Values for Facilitators Don’t have a: My mind-set won’t help them attitudeEverybody is human, unique with potential to contribute to the processIt’s OK to teachThere is no one best wayPeople never argue with their own dataFacilitators can’t win argumentsSilence is OKDon’t push the river
29 Managing Data It is up to the facilitator to make sure that: Everyone hears, sees and understandsWhat is presentedWhat is being offeredWhat is going onWhat is agreed toThat work products and decisions are accurately captured.
30 Ways to Manage Data Running Memory Flip Charts Butcher paper on the wallsDry Erase BoardsChalk BoardsShared MaterialsElectronic Documents projected on a screenSome facilitators use a recorder or scribe to keep running memory. This frees the facilitator to focus on group dynamics, traffic control, staying on topic, meeting process, honoring agreements about working together (ground rules/group norms), and other aspects of facilitation.Other facilitators prefer to have more control of what is recorded, and wield the marker (or keyboard) themselves. Recording the right things at the right level of detail, summarizing without changing essential words, and knowing when to check back with the speaker are all skills that require practice, and for some people, just don't fit with how they process information. Consider using a recorder, but make sure you know who it is and are comfortable working with them.
31 After the Meeting Task Reminders Use Microsoft Outlook Calendar Place reminders on the calendar to keep your work focused and on schedule.Use the reminders/schedule to help others stay focused.
32 After the Meeting Reminders Notes E-mails Phone calls Send a copy of the actual meeting notes to attendees so everyone is on the same page.sSend an electronic copy of the meeting notes to the attendees so everyone is on the same page.Phone callsCall to confirm goals and objectives.