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Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills - Best Facilitation Practices

  • Carefully assess the needs of the members
  • Probe sensitively into people’s feelings
  • Create an open and trusting atmosphere
  • Help people understand why they’re there
  • View yourself as servant of the group’s needs
  • Make members the center of attention
  • Speak in simple and direct language
  • Work hard to stay neutral
  • Display energy and appropriate levels of assertiveness
  • Champion ideas not personally favored
  • Treat all participants as equals
  • Stay flexible and ready to change direction if necessary
  • Make notes that reflect what participants mean
  • Listen intently to understand totally what is being said
  • Periodically summarize a complex array of ideas so that they form a coherent summary
  • Know how to use a wide range of discussion tools
  • Make sure every session ends with clear steps for the next meeting
  • Ensure that participants feel ownership for what has been achieved
  • End on a positive and optimistic note

(Ingrid Bens, Facilitating with Ease! San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Inc., 2000.)

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