Facilitator skill and preparation checklist

  • Build empathy and trust through positive rapport and being ‘ready’ in the way that helps you best.
  • Model and encourage active listening.
  • Create ‘neutrality’ that enables others to find their voices and participate.
  • Use questions that open up understanding and engagement rather than closing it down. Facilitators are not the holders of the ‘answers’ – it is ok not to know – and for the group to follow the need for new knowledge.
  • Intervene minimally and as appropriate – setting the scene, giving instructions, voicing the questions, encouraging participation, keeping boundaries, clarifying issues, recording decisions, recognising energy levels, challenging inappropriate behaviour, surfacing what might not be being said, etc.
  • Observation – read what is happening in the group in regards to energy, emotions, focus, etc.

Set ground rules or ways of working with any group – for example, participants:

  • Take personal responsibility for what they say and do
  • Respect one another (let each other speak without interruption or put down, listen attentively, don’t assume others know what you are speaking about, turn off phones, etc.)
  • Keep confidentiality – personal/private info stays in the group. If not sure say so
  • Might have ideas what else is important to create a trustful working space

 Potential issues that might need honest articulation, and can stifle creative discussion:

  • It is impossible here because…
  • We have so few people…
  • No matter what we try…
  • Done that before and…
  • If we didn’t have to pay for parish share…
  • Isn’t this the vicar’s job…
  • Everyone is dying off…
  • ?
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