Facilitation skills are a basic requirement for a trainer to
ensure active participation and meaningful exchanges during trainings or
Who is a Facilitator?
· Ensures the effective flow of communication
within a group so that the participants can share information and arrive at
· Poses problems and encourages group analysis.
· Provokes people to think critically and motivates them
· Does not change or ignore any decisions reached by the
participants through consensus.
· Is sensitive, both to the verbal and non-verbal
communications that occur in the group.
· Is sensitive to the feelings, attitudes, culture,
interests and any hidden agenda that may be present in a group.
To resolve conflict, a facilitator should be able to sense the
A is for Agreement
D is for
I is for Irrelevance
Agreements should be explored, disagreements respected and any
irrelevances identified so that the focus will be on reaching an agreement.
Exploring Ds can also be explored to widen the A.
A facilitator should be like a sponge
An effective way of learning facilitation skills is through
observing how effective facilitators handle a group in a certain activity. A
good facilitator is like a sponge. They are never content with the skills and
knowledge they have, and are aware that their capacity for learning is endless.
In keeping with this sponge image, effective facilitators learn
from everything. In each course they conduct, they gain new insights and apply
these to the next course based on their understanding.
When observing effective facilitators, take note of the following
· What are the facilitators' styles of
· How effective are these styles?
· How do they
handle their participants?
· How do the participants respond to
· What are their strengths and weaknesses?
There are no exact formulas for effective facilitation. More
important than having the capacity to liven up the group is to be able to
provide a structure within which the group can discuss the agenda in a