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A Facilitation Roadmap

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hannah smith

on 5 April 2017

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Transcript of A Facilitation Roadmap

Learning Objectives
Learn more about Facilitation - what is it, when to use it
The Role of a Facilitator
The question of - 'To facilitate or not'.....
Let's Ask.....
Understand the key stages of an effective facilitation session
Learn some basic tools & techniques to get the most from your sessions
Find out about some useful resources for further reading

Has anyone had any previous experience of facilitating
workshops or meetings before?

If so, what was the experience like -

good / bad / indifferent?

Someone who puts a hand up and suggests that the participants focus on a single problem
Or even a participant who suggests that they find out a little about what each other does or agree on how they're going to make decisions
Any person who jumps up during a meeting & starts writing key points on a whiteboard/flip.
Working Definition......

A Facilitator is the individual responsible for guiding a team through a process in order to accomplish a specific task or achieve specific outcomes or goals.

However, in the loosest possible sense, I think a Facilitator is actually also......

We may all facilitate at some point,
we just may not know it!
Given that a Facilitated Sessions is:-

A highly structured, intensive session in which group members are guided by the skill of an impartial facilitation team to develop a quality
deliverable / outcome
When to use a Facilitated Session
To bring a group together to generate consensus
To generate ideas and build solutions with a group
To inform people of what's going on
To resolve personal issues
To sell solutions
The 4 GOLDEN Principles of Facilitation
1. Remain neutral at all times
2. Process not content
3. The Group is the expert (not you)
Navigating your way through your facilitated session
My Prep Checklist
The Word Facilitate
'to make easy'
Comes from the Latin word - 'facilis' which means.....
What happens before the session
What happens during the session
What happens after the session
We need a map & a checklist
What happens before the session
Why do we have meetings?
Solve problems
Learn from one another
Create group consensus & buy in
To make decisions
Plan work
Share information
RISK - Meeting overload
Who to invite
Inviting the right people

Getting the right people there

Understanding the audience
Date & Time
Agreeing the date

Agreeing the time

Length of session

What are the things we need to think about before the session?
During the planning period.

Agreeing the venue

Space - light & airy

Facilities available


Tea's and Coffee etc
PC facilities

Flip Chart / White Board

Print outs

Post it notes

Other materials
Agenda Prep
What does the session look like?



all my own thoughts so open for discussion & debate

Who likes going to meetings?

Who hates going to meetings?


The many hats of a Facilitator
Clarify Understanding
Ensure full participation
Keep the group on track & to time
Set the scene & clarify objectives
Ensure commitment to action
Recap & agree next steps
Resolve conflict
Housekeep & explain
the ground rules
So as Facilitators, that's our job:
to guide the learning process and make the journey as smooth and as rewarding as possible.

We need to be aware of when it's right to run a Facilitated Session and maybe more importantly,
when it's not right to.

Check Point
Obtained a working definition of the word Facilitator
Developed an insight into the essential responsibilities of the Facilitator
Identified the many hats they wear
Considered when it would be right to facilitate and when it wouldn't
Uncovered the 4 fundamental Ground Rules of Facilitation
How to plan out and navigate your way through your Facilitated Session

How do we structure the workshop?

What techniques should we use?
Group Exercise
What happens before the session
Structuring the Session
What happens during the session
What to cover in the opening
During the session
Wrapping up the session
Opening the Session
What to cover in the opening

Greet people as they arrive

Direct people to their seats

Offer refreshments
Make Introductions

Introduce Session Leader

Introduce Project Sponsor

Introduce Project Manager

Open intro for people to confirm their name and role
State the Purpose

Have Project Sponsor express support

Have PM explain project objectives

State the Session Goals and Objectives

Make the Agenda available

Walk through the Agenda together

Car Park concept

More on the Agenda
in a moment
Admin Stuff

Confirm Tea & Coffee Breaks

Confirm Lunch plans

Confirm location of facilities

Emergency Procedures

Mobile Phones - silent
Roles and Responsibilities

Session Leader

Project Manager


Ground Rules

Post up the ground rules

Explain the importance of the rules

Ask if anyone has any additional ones

Check for consensus
What to consider during the Session
How to manage time

Know the time constraints

Time box activities
How do we foster Team Work?

Group Dynamics

Social Dynamics

Personal Agenda's

Look out for people's body language

Break silo's

Get people thinking creatively

Break down any fears

Deal with conflict *
Create the right social environment

Retain control of the group

Keep people on track

Challenge if you feel the group is being side tracked

Keep positive - high energy

Keep things flowing
Introduce the Technique

Set expectations

Make sure people are prepared
During the session
A Very Visual Agenda
What to cover in the opening
Getting the best
out people

Work to people's strengths

Know you audience

Make people feel comfortable
Techniques to use during the Session
During the session
Cause & Effect / Root Cause
Fishbone Analysis

Process Analysis

5 Why's
Round Robin

(Risk Analysis)
Problem ID)
Post It
Exercise -

Big Issues
'As Is'

Process Mapping

'To Be'
Brain Storming
Most popular method used in w/s
Great for generating loads of ideas
Work well with larger groups - can break down into smaller
The types of meetings that I tend to run / support:-

Stakeholder Identification & Analysis
Identifying the Problems - root cause analysis
As-Is & To Be process mapping
Requirement Workshops
Risk analysis
When designing your session, think about:-

What you want to get out of it
How many attendees you have etc.
Wrapping up the Session
Wrapping up the session
After the session
What happens after the session
Dealing with Conflict
During the session
Side Conversations
Dealing with Conflict
During the session
Side Conversations
You must always act on your
agenda NOT your

Act as though you 'know' the conversation is related to the session. Ask them to add their thoughts to bring that back again

Ask a question and direct the response to come from one of the 'chatters'

If you are active during the w/s, then slowly move towards the 'chatters' but don't look at them.

Change the pace of the activity - break up the group / use a flip

At the start of the next bit, re-visit the rule everyone agreed to.

They are being disrespectful and rude, I want to treat them the same way so they see what it feels like.......
Talks too much - monopolizes discussion
Negative behaviour
Not engaged
'Know it all'
Acts as a clown at inappropriate times
Goes off on a tangent

If the 'chatter' is talking about a related matter - summarize their key point and then turn to the group and open the debate up - "what do other people think about that?"

Avoid eye contact for a while

If the 'chatter' is off target, say something like, "great point, but that's outside the scope of this, maybe we can pick it up offline"

Capture the point in the Car Park

Change the pace of the activity - maybe get the group to work solo for 10 minutes giving quiet time.

Talks too much
This person is really doing my head in now, I wish they would just shut up and stay that way
Dealing with Conflict
During the session
Is Negative

Ask if others feel the same, this may encourage others to talk

Offer to talk to the negative person in the break to understand more about where they are coming from.

If others do feel the same, then it's maybe worth exploring further

Acknowledge the negativity and ask the group how they can overcome it?

Capture the issue on the Car Park

What a whiner......this person is having a bad effect on everyone else and I need to somehow bring it back

Change the activity, i.e. if working in a big group, break the group down to a smaller size.

Talk to the individual privately in a break to ask whether they realise they appear to be coming across as dis-engaged

Ask whether they had a different understanding of what the session was going to be about? If yes, capture the point on the Car Park and agree to pick it up after the session.

Not engaged
This person is being rude, don't they realise how much effort I've put into this? I'm doing this for them.
Dealing with Conflict
During the session
Goes off on a tangent

If you can, find one thing to agree with - compliment the point but then bring it back round to the task / discussion in hand.

Use the Car Park and confirm that it's something to be aware of but not for right now.

How obtuse can someone be?????

Give the person some attention by re-engaging them with the content without acknowledging the joke.

If the joke is intended to relieve tension, gauge whether the tension is felt by other members of the group. If it is, try & get the group to deal with discomfort directly.

Don't be a stickler, laugh if it is funny & time is right.

Acts inappropriately - jokes around
What a herbert, this person thinks they are soo funny!
Know it all
I'm the facilitator, this herbert is damaging my credibility

Give the person the spotlight for a minute or so - your credibility comes from your ability to facilitate.

Turn the exchange into a discussion by implying there are multiple points of view. Ask for other people's points of view.

Summary &
Recap on
Key Decisions &
Determine Remaining Issues
Meeting -
seek feedback
Review Agenda

to show what's been achieved
Thank People
Room Clean Up
Follow up with Sponsor & PM
Produce any agreed output that you may be
responsible for

It's over!
Developed an understanding of the key stages of Facilitation
Discussed some of the best ways to handle Conflict
Thought about the various techniques that can be used during sessions
Obtained a working definition of the word Facilitator
Developed an insight into the essential responsibilities of the Facilitator
Identified the many hats they wear
Thought about when it would be right to facilitate and when it wouldn't be
Further Reading

Thank You

For listening
& participating


Facilitation Skills: Frances and Roland Bee
Facilitation at a Glance: Ingrid Bens
How to run a great workshop: Highmore Sims
How to make meetings work: Doyle & Strauss
Dealing with Difficult People: Brinkman & Kirshner
Team Roles at Work: Belbin


Mindtools - http://www.mindtools.com/index.html

APMG International -

Slideshare - http://www.slideshare.net/

follow up actions
You must always act on your
agenda NOT your
You must always act on your
agenda NOT your
Difference between Meetings & Workshops
Meeting is generally:-

Run by a chair / spokesperson and is decision orientated.
Often involves reading pre-meeting material so that decisions can be made during the meeting.

A workshop is an event that is generally:-

Run by someone impartial who's not the domain expert
Their job is to make the workshop a success, to move the project / group people forward.
Usually these sessions contain a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to provide the detail particularly where a process is being interrogated.
Exploratory sessions / Idea generations
Requirement elicitation
Decisions can be made but usually done as a result of brainstorming.

Totally my view...............
4. Listen
So you've been asked to facilitate a meeting......
This is your road map to help you through the session - start to finish

Hannah Smith
Business Analyst

Full transcript