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Facilitation Skills Training

facilitator training

Facilitation Skills: How to Get the Most out of Business Discussions

Course Outcomes

This facilitation skills course will:

  • Outline what facilitation is and how it differs from presentation.
  • Give participants the ability to recognize different communication styles and adapt to each.
  • Provide tools and techniques for managing discussions and reaching consensus.
  • Help participants manage group dynamics.

Available Formats

  • One-Day Course
  • Two-Day Course

Course Overview

A skilled facilitator enables a group to deal with a problem or develop a plan for delivering results in less time than it would take without this professional's expertise.

This course will teach participants how to act as facilitators who can draw out and process audience input for the purpose of moving a discussion forward.

Participants will learn how to recognize group dynamics and motivations through dialogue, feedback, and consensus building.

Program Objectives

At this program's conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Identify and explain the process and value of facilitation.
  • Maintain neutrality while working as facilitators.
  • Describe typical audiences and how to manage each.
  • Recognize group dynamics and motivations.
  • Build consensus and address resistance.
  • Develop strategies for handling hecklers, bullies, and other disruptive participants.
  • Face any fear of facilitation.

The following outline highlights some of the course's key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Watch, Listen, Learn: A Recipe for Successful Facilitation
This program begins with an examination of the key factors that contribute to effective facilitation: an appropriate environment, clear agendas and objectives, efficient use of time, and powerful closing summaries. Participants will learn that the successful facilitator projects trustworthiness and neutrality while keeping the discussion focused. They will examine their personal biases in order to remove them while serving as facilitators. Furthermore, they will discuss the differences between training, public speaking, and facilitation.
Do You Hear What I Hear?: Understanding Audience Differences
Using Business Training Works' signature diagnostic tool, The Communication Jungle, participants will identify their own work styles and those of different types of audience members in order to facilitate for each. Additionally, participants will explore techniques such as mind mapping and brainstorming to generate ideas.
Time to Shift Gears: That's Why I'm Here
Group dynamics and motivations can vary on many levels. Participants will learn how those factors affect facilitation. They will use case studies to practice re-engaging a stalled audience through dialogue, feedback, and testing for consensus and understanding.
The Bottom Line: Getting Results
Keeping group members focused so they can get their desired results takes skill. This section shows participants how to move beyond roadblocks, difficult personalities, and incomplete information so they can help group members work collaboratively toward a goal. Using sample cases, participants will try their hand at remaining neutral during conflict.
Know-It-Alls, Talkers, Hecklers, and Bullies: Managing Disruptive People
It is sometimes said that "there is one in every group." A difficult person can sabotage facilitation by interrupting, being negative, physically or mentally leaving, or dominating the conversation. Such behavior makes the facilitator's job a challenge at best. Learning how to manage those audience members who don't want to be there is an essential skill of top facilitators. This component explores handling difficult people and challenging situations.
Stop Shaking in Your Shoes: Overcoming the Fear of Facilitating
Fear is why many people do not enjoy facilitating. This discussion covers the causes for fear and techniques for overcoming it. Participants will receive a checklist for projecting the best possible image.
People Who Can, Do: Preparation and Practice
The program concludes with participants facilitating various kinds of processes: strategic planning, vision setting, brainstorming, and consensus decision making. Each participant will be videotaped for review and critique.

 At the program's conclusion, participants will understand what makes a facilitated session run effectively. They will know how to remain neutral, accommodate for different work styles, build consensus, manage difficult audiences, and dispel their fear of facilitating.

Questions This Page Answers About Facilitation Skills Training

  • How can I learn how to be a facilitator?
  • Where can I go to improve my facilitation skills?
  • Who offers onsite facilitation skills training?
  • What kind of training is available to improve my group’s ability to manage meetings and facilitate discussions?
  • Where can I find facilitator training for my team?