Course Outcomes

This facilitation skills course will:

  • Outline what facilitation is and how it differs from giving a 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.

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 review 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 confirm their preferred communication style and the styles to which they will need to adapt.  Next, they will discuss actions they can take to accommodate different types of people.  Following that exercise, they will talk about how to use style information to guide the questions they ask and how style preferences can affect the discussion and decision process.

Time to Shift Gears: That’s Why I’m Here

Group dynamics and motivations can vary on many levels.  During this part of the program, we will examine a series of techniques for building trust, engaging or re-engaging teams, and refocusing a stalled group.

A Series of Lenses: Gaining Perspective

Using Business Training Works’ strategic-thinking tool, Lenses: Gaining Focus and Seeing New Perspectives,TM participants will learn a process that will show them how to encourage the teams they facilitate to consider information from a variety of perspectives.  Next, we will review several classic tools for generating ideas, making connections between concepts, creating processes, and determining a course of action.

The Bottom Line: Getting Results

Keeping people focused takes skill.  You can’t repeatedly use the same old trick. In this part of the program, we will look at techniques for encouraging collaboration, managing energy, and keeping people on task.  We will also discuss the value of an accordion agenda and how to use one.

Negaholics, Know-It-Alls, Dominators, and More: Managing a Cast of Characters

People can sabotage facilitation by interrupting, being negative, physically leaving, mentally “checking out,” or dominating the conversation. Those behaviors can make a facilitator’s job tough. In this part of the program, we will work through a series of case studies to create solutions to manage people and problems that can derail a discussion.

Custom Tailoring: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

The program concludes with an overview of different kinds of facilitation and special considerations facilitators must keep in mind when leading discussions around each.  At a minimum, we will look at strategic planning, vision setting, brainstorming, and consensus decision making. 

 At the program’s conclusion, participants will understand what makes a facilitated session run effectively. They will know how to remain neutral, manage different work styles, build consensus, manage difficult group members, and adjust their approach depending on a meeting’s goals.