1. Facilitation Skills
To ‘facilitate’ means literally to make easier. At the beginning however, group participants needs to see my role as a facilitator more clearly. I believe that when I have a good performance during activity facilitation it’s because my pre preparation for the activity. It may be a boring and tiring process but it necessary and from crucial importance to pass this step. Because when i study topic of the activity it push me to reflect about it, and carefully understand the activity flowing i wish to implement. As the student with whom I work group becomes more experienced and self-regulating I believe I should take more of a back seat, stepping in only when necessary.
Pre preparation means for me:
- Clear activity goal
- Clear planning sessions
- If i have a partner discuss with him and share duties
- Being sure that i didn’t leave something behind
- Evaluation methods
For the facilitation process is also important to know with what kind of participants’ structure I will work. This is especially important if i have in mind that any process that occurs in group is interactive and implies incomes of all parties. So if i talk about preparation it should be named Preliminary preparation as it is certain that the facilitation process will be enriched with activities and needs of participants. Because of that, in the preparation phase I always conceive a B plan. And plan B is adapt to the situation and try to find solution including the group energy toward an interesting and constructive workshop.
It’s in my nature to be very open and make positive impression toward the people that i work or live. As an Ice Breaker, I have capability to make people feel comfortable in my presence. I always try to begin the activity in positive manner and also successfully cope with stressful situation. While I am able to Recognize a group cohesion and roles within it such as persons who show characteristics of a leader, persons who are “the weakest link”, “historian”, “entertainer” etc. This identification of participants’ characteristics makes my facilitation more effective as I know what capacities group has and which approach I can use towards each member. I believe that creating a comfortable environment through better facilitation will give to participants a better understanding of what a good facilitator can do to improve any meeting or gathering.
As a facilitator I try to:
- Stay neutral: do not add thoughts or try to control outcome
- Show attention: face speaker, make eye contact or show attention to the speaker, understand rather than judge
- Ask questions: probe, clarify & encourage other person to say more
- Paraphrase key ideas: periodically repeat what the other person is trying to say to ensure ideas are understood
- Summarize: give the speaker a brief, 30 second summary of what has been said
Make it fun and interactive:
Most people don’t enjoy sitting and listen someone else talking for hours. For this i always use mixed activities and ice breakers where people who never meet can create trust and begin with communication. I have always used this method and it worked out very well.
Relevance to the topic:
While it is very good to have casual, interesting atmosphere which stimulate persons for creative acting I don’t have to forget that i am there for certain reason or goal. I try always to keep the flowing of the group work relevant to the training topic. Because i know if i lose the goal of the training than the group ideas will spread and can lead to losing the idea why we are there and very often bring to non wanted situation where group members are discussing something that has nothing to do with aim of our training. I...