Practical Facilitation Skills
Interpersonal and communication skills
Techniques to Manage Meetings Effectively and Efficiently
If you’ve ever had occasion to facilitation or lead a meeting, you probably understand how challenging it can be. Not only do you need to stick to the agenda, you need to manage group dynamics, and often, get everyone to agree on a decision. That is no easy task, especially when opinions and personalities conflict. Facilitation is part art and part science, and luckily, it is a skill that can be learned.
Leading a group through the facilitation process- rather than controlling the meeting- will result in participants fully supporting and taking ownership of the outcomes. Ensuring that all have been heard and have an opportunity to voice their opinions reduces negative feedback and backlash afterwards. After all, most people will accept not getting their way, but will resent not having their say.
Facilitation skills is one of the most important competencies professionals can develop for their career today. Meetings are unavoidable, and if you can manage them effectively and efficiently, you’ll be an asset to any organization.
In this dynamic and practical facilitation course, participants will learn how to gather information from a group, clarify and present ideas, remain neutral when appropriate, and gain consensus. They will learn strategies to manage group dynamics, how to deal with a group that is “stuck, and techniques to keep energy high. Participants will practice their new skills in a safe and supportive environment.
By the end of this seminar, you will be able to:
- Lead a group through the entire facilitation process, including decision-making or gaining consensus
- Select appropriate tools for the type of session
- Switch between a neutral facilitator and an engaged participant, as appropriate
- Ensure balanced participation from group members
- Facilitate meetings with confidence and professionalism
The Facilitation Cycle
- Identify the nine stages of the Facilitation Cycle
- Define the facilitator’s role
- Identify key qualities that make a great facilitator
- Explore the differences between facilitation, training, presenting and chairing
- Understand the difference between content and process
- Identify the most appropriate tools to use for the type of session
- Know how and when to remain neutral
- Generate and organize content as a group
- Clarify and evaluate content
- Learn tips on giving and receiving feedback
- Learn to manage group dynamics and problem participants
- Understand barriers to participation and how to address them
- Balance participation between all group members
- Identify the stages of team development and ways to help teams through each stage
- Learn strategies to handle controversial issues in a neutral and professional way
- Keep the energy high
Decision Making and Consensus
- Use common process tools to make decisions and gaining consensus easier and more productive
- Learn about divergent thinking and convergent thinking, and the grey area between the two (known as the Groan Zone)
- Explore the importance of listening for common ground in facilitation
- Learn what to do when a group gets stuck and how to prevent them from slipping backwards in the process
- Help a group make a decision or gain consensus- and take ownership of the end result
There are no prerequisites for this course.
Anyone who leads meetings or wants to better manage the group decision-making process.
This workshop addresses:
- Analytical Thinking
- Conflict Resolution
- Creative Thinking
- Dealing with Difficult Situations
- Decision Making / Decisiveness
- Engagement and Motivation
- Interpersonal Relations
- Planning / Organizing
- Policy Development
- Problem Solving
- Public Speaking / Presenting
- Self Confidence / Self Esteem
- Strategic Thinking
- Teamwork and Cooperation
- Values and Ethics
- Working with Others
To learn more about core competencies, click here.