Facilitation. The New Way

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Transcript Facilitation. The New Way

Facilitation: The New Way
Presenter: Patricia Dammann, MSHR, MBA, ODCC, CPF
Objectives: By the end of this session, you will
be able to:
• Understand the spirit of inquiry
• Recognize the link between being an effective
OD practitioner and being a competent
• Identify the critical facilitator competencies
• Learn and demonstrate facilitation tools and
The Spirit of Inquiry
• The learning organization is emerging out of an awareness
that change requires constant learning and relearning
• An organization’s development depends on the quality of
interchange and group reflection going on among the staff
(group, team, etc.)
• The key to learning is that individuals and small groups in
the organization are constantly transforming raw
experience into insight and transformed personal style
• The task of the facilitator is to release “dammed-up”
genius, wisdom and experience of the group on a topic
and guide it towards a considered conclusion
Leaders as Askers of Questions
• Leaders move from being charismatic
decision-makers and infallible bosses to
becoming people who facilitate questioning,
visioning, and problem solving
• The participatory principle requires the art of
asking questions
• Prime skill for managers today is the capacity
of ask questions and elicit answers from
The Power of Facilitation
Old Directive Approach
Facilitative Process
Members misbehave
Give them a pep talk
about getting along
Have members create
rules they agree to
abide by
A bad decision is made
Overturn it, then explain Have members critique
their decision using
reality-based criteria
Members overstep
Rein them in, supervise
more carefully
Help clarify specific
empowerment levels so
that authority is clear
Why Facilitation?
Scenario: Think about a time when you left a meeting and
Unclear as to the purpose of the meeting (No agenda)
The issues presented were never resolved or addressed
Lack of focus---conversation kept spinning around
No actions resulting from the meeting
Lots of side conversations going on in the group
Why did the meeting leader allow this to happen????
Then after the meeting, heard lots of negative comments
from people…”big waste of time”, and just overall frustration
What could the facilitator have done to make
this meeting effective?
• Take 3 minutes to write down your responses
Debrief as big group
What is a Facilitator
• Facilitator: An individual who is responsible for
structuring teams, groups or task forces, and
their activities to allow for success in attaining
agreed upon outcomes/organizational goals
• Process Facilitation: Defined by Edgar Schein
(1988) as a “set of activities n the part of the
consultant that helps the client to perceive,
understand, and act upon the process events that
occur in the client’s environment in order to
improve the situation as defined by the client”.
What are Some OD Facilitator Applications?
Work or Team Meetings
Strategic Planning
Appreciative Inquiry
Planning Sessions
Client Session
Program Development
Project Development
Change Management
Process Management
Problem Solving
Planning Interventions
Leadership Development
What Do Facilitators Do?
Promote group dynamics and transform groups of
individuals into effective teams, including:
• Organize group processes
• Encourage effective communication
• Promote sensitivity to people
• Provide expertise in group dynamics
• Ensure two-way communication
• Encourage group behaviors in organizing,
discipline, achieving goals
What Do Facilitators Do?
• Have patience and tolerance for ambiguity
• Encourage others to seek ideas, provide
information , and participate
• Ability to organize, handle details, and bring
events to closure
• Ability to buffer criticism, anger, and
frustration to enable effective group process
(manage conflict)
Differentiating Between Process and Content
(The “What”)
(The “How”)
The subjects for discussion
The methods & procedures
The task
How relations are
The problems being solved
The tools being used
The decisions made
The rules or norms set
The agenda items
The group dynamics
The goals
The climate
The facilitator’s job is to manage the process and leave content
to the participants.
Key Issues in Process Facilitation
Intervene to Help the Group Improve the Process
Help the Group Reflect on Process
Provide Feedback to the Group About the Process
Watch How the Group Performs
Process Facilitator Behaviors
• Actively listen
• Use body language and nonverbal behavior
• Seek to understand
• Paraphrase thoughts and feelings
• Summarize thoughts and feelings
• Suspend judgment
Process Facilitator Behaviors
• Observe body language and small group
• Apply skillful questions
• Express the facilitator’s thoughts and feelings
(about the process)
• Focus the group’s attention
• Direct group thought
• Stimulate small group insights
The Facilitation/Training Spectrum
Content + Process = Result
Facilitator Competencies*
Creating Collaborative Relationships
Planning Appropriate Group Processes
Creating and Sustaining a Participatory Environment
Guiding Group to Appropriate and Useful Outcomes
Building and Maintaining Professional Knowledge
Model Positive Professional Attitude
*International Association of Facilitators
Creating a Collaborative Relationship
Develop working partnerships
• Clarify mutual commitment
• Develop consensus on tasks, deliverables,
roles and responsibilities
Sample Questions to Develop Working Partnerships
What is the purpose of this event?
What is the background and current context for this?
What is the expected outcome from this event?
Who will be participating and what are their roles?
Who will be the one supporting this event?
What role do you want to play at this event?
How will you know the event was successful?
What type of resistance might occur?
Sample Questions to Develop Working Partnerships
How familiar are members with each other?
Does everyone participate or do a few dominate?
How does the group handle any conflicts?
How are important decisions made?
How would you describe the group atmosphere?
Why do you think you need (external) facilitation
support? Is there any opposition to this?
• What is the worse thing that could happen at this
meeting? What could be done to ensure that doesn’t
Sample Questions to Develop Working Partnerships
• How will decisions be made during this event?
• How will you support the group and actions to be
• What would stand in the way of success?
• How much time do you have for this event?
• Has this group worked together in the past?
• What are the possible barriers?
• Other questions…
Activity: Creating a Collaborative Relationship
Scenario: You are meeting with a client for the
first time. The clients wants you to facilitate the
following topic:
“Create the framework of an ethics policy?”
In your small groups, identify the questions you
would ask to create a collaborate relationship
(clarify mutual commitment and develop
consensus on task, deliverables, roles and
Facilitation Tools
• Establishing Ground Rules (norms)
• Parking Lot
• Decision Making:
– Seeking Consensus
– Voting Techniques
• Questioning Techniques
• Active Listening
• Reflection
Establishing Ground Rules
Focus Question:
“What ground rules should we follow today to ensure this
event is successful?
• Think of two or three ground rules/norms that would make
the meeting more efficient and effective.
• Take a few minutes and write down your norms.
• Read your norms and discuss them.
• Ask: Is there any norm that you cannot live with?
• Seek agreement and then write down your list.
• Adopt these as their meeting norms, and be responsible for
living up to them.
Planning Appropriate Group Processes
Select clear methods and processes that
• Foster open participation with respect for
client culture, norms and participant diversity
• Engage the participation of those with varied
learning / thinking styles
• Achieve a high quality product/outcome that
meets the client needs
Designing the Facilitated Process
Define the outcomes
1. Personal Level
2. Professional Level
3. Team Level
4. Business Level
5. Organizational Level
Determine the design
Time constraints
Space and logistics
Design the event
1. Co-design
2. Use Action Research
3. Design The Planning
4. Implement the
Action Plans
5. Follow and Evaluate
Sample Design
Introduction: Why we are
here, Define the Purpose
and Outcome
Get Acquainted Activity
Gain Commitment,
Identify expectations, Set
ground rules, parking lot
Facilitate team roles, goals,
responsibilities, seek
Identify issues, challenges,
or project
Process: World Cafe Technique
A facilitation method that allows small groups of
people to have conversations, sketch, and
brainstorm around in an informal setting,
around cafe tables. Groups typically have several
rounds, switching tables and starting new topics.
Activity: World Cafe Technique
What are the important elements in a learning organization?
How can you support a learning environment?
Why do people resist change?
What are some things you can do to address resistance to
How can the government of Ghana implement organization
How can you promote inclusiveness in your organization?
What are some things you will do differently as a result of
attending this conference?
Process: World Cafe Technique
Seven Principles:
1. Set the context
2. Create hospitable space
3. Explore question that matter
4. Encourage all contributions
5. Connect diverse perspectives (areas of
6. Listen together for insights
7. Share collective perspectives
Process: World Cafe Technique
Step 1 Process:
Idea Generation Process:
• Break out into small groups of 6-10
• Identify a moderator/facilitator for each small group
• Review focus question
• Each participant silently take one minute to write down responses to the
focus question on cards (one idea per card)
• Moderator/facilitator asks for responses to the questions and collect cards
and spread them out on table
• When instructed, groups move to the next station (the
Moderator/Facilitator remains with the original group)
• When new group comes, Moderator briefs on ideas from previous groups
and encourages new ideas as well as building on previous ideas
• Groups will continue to move until they are back in their original station
Process: World Cafe Technique
Step 2 Process:
Affinity Process (grouping ideas):
• Eliminate duplications
• Group ideas into main themes
• Name each theme
Process: World Cafe Technique
Step 3 Process:
Big Group Presentation Process:
Moderators of each group present findings to
the big group
Debrief: The World Cafe
• What was the benefit of the World Café
• How could you use this with your
• What else do you want to know about World
Café Process?
Cardstorming Technique
• Cardstorming is a powerful tool for helping
groups to think and make decisions together.
• Works well with almost any group because it is
very visual, involves individual brainstorming,
conversation among people, writing, organizing
ideas, and also can get people moving.
• Cardstorming works well for visioning, identifying
issues, and strategizing.
Process: Cardstorming
Allow about two hours for entire process
• 1. Begin with a broad “Focus Question” that will draw out the ideas
and creativity of the group.
• 2. Individual Brainstorm: Participants write down each idea on a
separate card, then have them order their cards by importance .
• 3. Participants share in pairs or small groups what they have written.
• 4. Participants decide on most significant ideas between them.
• 5. Facilitator calls for ideas in about 3-4 rounds. Ideas go up randomly.
• 6. Participants’ pair, then cluster, similar ideas. Ideas can be clustered
under value-less symbols like boxes or circles.
• 7. Facilitator asks for additional ideas not included.
• 8. Participants name/title the clusters.
Activity: Cardstorming
Focus Question: What are the most important
elements of community building?
• Individual Brainstorm: Participants write down
each idea on a separate card, then have them
order their cards by importance .
• Break big group into small groups of 5-10.
• Share your ideas with your small group.
• Identify within your group the most significant
ideas among them.
Activity: Cardstorming
Big Group:
• Facilitator calls for ideas in about 3-4 rounds.
Ideas go up randomly.
• Participants’ pair, then cluster, similar ideas.
Ideas can be clustered under value-less
symbols like boxes or circles.
• Facilitator asks for additional ideas not
• Participants name/title the clusters.
• What was the benefit of Card Storming?
• How will you use this with your organization?
• What else do you want to know about Card
Handling differences in the group. Guidelines:
• Recognize that differences are inevitable and
• Recognize your own style of handling
• Recognize the symptoms of conflict
• Diagnose the situation
• Handle interaction problems
Recognizing the Symptoms of Conflict
• Ideas are attacked before they are completed
• Individuals are accusing each other of not
• Individuals stick to their own points rather
than find common goals/issues
• Provocation, control, advice-giving
• Suggestions don’t build on previous
Diagnosing the Situation or “What is going on here?”
What is the nature of the difference between the conflicting
• GOALS: This refers to differences in what the parties would
like to achieve.
• METHODS: Sometimes two people or groups can agree on
the problem and the goals but have differing views on the
best method to achieve the goals both want.
• FACTS: Sometimes the disagreement is rooted in the facts
of the present situation. Each party may have different
facts or perceptions of the same facts.
• VALUES: Sometimes differences are mostly deeply rooted
in the beliefs and personalities of the parties.
Vision, Mission
How to Accomplish Goals
Operational Plan, Roles
Informational Sharing
Interpersonal Relationships
Resolving Conflict Through Collaboration
Rely on ground rules or established tools
Define the conflict as a mutual problem and determine the issues
Call a recess
Ensure that group commits to cooperation
Express all views/feelings fully
Value all contributions
Communicate openly and honestly
Criticize ideas, not people
Focus on needs/goals behind the issues
Identify alternative solutions
Develop objective criteria for evaluating alternatives
Call in a reference expert
Use a teambuilding activity to loosen up the group
Seek solutions that satisfy everyone
Activity: Facilitating Conflict as Leaders
Write your answers to the following questions:
a) What is one barrier you use which blocks the effective
resolution of conflict?
b) When does this usually occur?
c) How does this barrier benefit or protect you?
d) What does it cost you?
e) What can you do differently to be more effective?
f) What support would you like from others? Who?
g) How will you know that you’re more effective?
Discuss your answers with a partner
Gaining Consensus Agreement
• Discuss how decisions will be made, such as when to vote, or
decide by consensus, simple “yes” or “no”, or ask if everyone
is in agreement.
• Explore important issues by polling, each member is asked to
vote or state an opinion verbally or in writing.
• Decide important issues by consensus. (”Does everyone
• Test for consensus “This seems to be our agreement. Is there
anyone who feels unsure about our choice?”
• Use facts not opinions as the basis for decisions.
• If there is disagreement, ask for reasons, discuss and ask for
Gaining Consensus
• Will you agree this is the next action?
• Can you live with this decision?
• Are you comfortable with the course of action
• Can you support this action?
Consensus Tool: Fist of Five
One finger
Two finger
Three fingers
Four fingers
Five fingers
No Go
Very Strongly Object
Strongly Object
Have Some Concerns
Totally Agree
Facilitating Difficult Situations
The group gets on a tangent
Review the goal
Summarize where you are
Review the next step on the agenda
The group is silent
Ask how people are feeling
Ask if people are lost
Ask for group comments
Ask for clarification about the silence
A person or group of people are
When the person takes a breath, jump in
and ask for others’ comments or opinions
(be gentle but firm)
A person attack another member of the
Refer to ground rules
Remind them that all ideas are important
and contributions from everyone is
Facilitating Difficult Situations
If the problem seems to be:
Then check:
1. General confusion/vagueness
1. Objectives:
Does everyone understand and agree
with the objectives
2. General frustration
2. Communication and/or listening:
Is the group staying on the subject?
Is everyone listening effectively?
3. Lack of progress
3. Roles:
Is everyone playing a variety of roles?
Is someone leading?
Are others asking or answering questions?
Is there a timekeeper
Facilitating Difficult Situations
If the problem seems to be:
Then check:
4. Poor conclusions/resolutions
4a. Information:
Do we have enough information?
Did we evaluate it well?
Do we have too much information?
4b. Process:
Did you skip a step that you should have
Are you at the right point in the process
5. Behind schedule
5. Constraints:
Does everyone understand & accept the
Is there a timekeeper?
Are the meeting planning
Are agreements being kept?
Are there organizational disruptions
Facilitating Difficult Situations
If the problem seems to be:
Then check:
6. Too much detail
6. Objectives:
Review objectives and revise meeting
purpose & process
Is the group stuck on perfection?
Do we have too much information?
7. People conflicts
7. Objectives/Roles/Communication:
Stop the group action!
Do you have real acceptance of the
objectives and constraints?
Are people playing their roles fairly and
Are people communicating honestly, and
listening carefully?
Are people tired or distracted?
(Maybe the group needs to take a break.)
Steps for Intervening
1. Call for the team’s attention
2. Ask for the team to focus on:
Ground Rules
3. Explain what you observed happening
4. Offer suggestions (process) on how to correct the
situation and check comprehensive
5. Gain group’s commitment to proceed
6. Follow-up with Group Leader
Debriefing and Reflection
The process of writing down thoughts about insights and
perspectives increase the scope of our reflection and
Example of reflective questions:
• What image captures the emotional tone of the day
• What was the high point of the day?
• What could improve next time?
• What was the biggest surprise?
• What did you struggle with?
• What was memorable?
Summary and Close
• What did you learn?
• What was the most memorable activity?
• What will you take back with you?