Lesson 1) The Art of Facilitating
To pull off an effective training you must have a diverse training team with clear roles. Small group work is a cornerstone of engagement trainings and this section will focus on the basics of being a Facilitator – a skill that is important for every member of your team to become comfortable with.
Facilitators work with teams of participants to help them navigate and stay on track during the breakout sessions featured in each module. The facilitator role is vital because they not only serve as the main point person for the participants at your training, but participants will lean on them to clarify and explain each session, and help them put concepts and exercises into the context of their breakouts, and ultimately their own campaigns.
The best facilitation is where everyone (including the facilitator) learns from one another.
Typically, one facilitator can work with two teams of participants, rotating back and forth between the two groups and troubleshooting as necessary. This means for every ten participants you plan on having at your training, you should plan on having one facilitator.
An effective facilitator…
- Articulates clearly
- Suspends doubts and dives in it with some faith
- Describes clearly the team work step by step
- Focus the participants to the exercise and its objective at the outset
- Asks for help from their training team
- Chooses good models for debriefing
- Listens actively and holds people accountable
- Reports difficult cases and allows humor
- Facilitates discussion / does not have all the answers.
- Comfortable with emotions
- Focuses on hope to deal with motivation, facilitates strategic understanding through coaching and gives/provides specific feedback to address weak practice.
An effective facilitator understands…
- That our job is not to resolve anxiety but to engage tension to enable learning
- Learning is not a linear process and clarity can come at the end
- What’s going on-he pattern: lecture, teamwork, debrief…
- The learning objectives of every session
- How to support participants and fellow facilitators
- That modeling is as or more powerful than preaching
- Respects time
- Appreciates that a successful organizing workshop addresses head, heart and hands
- This workshop gives rise to sensitive topics and can trigger anxieties
- That peer coaching is enabling leadership
- How to coach through motivational, strategic, or skills based challenge