Facilitation Skills

How to motivate groups to share and generate ideas

2 days

Anyone who may be called on to facilitate a meeting within the next few years.


With its focus on asking rather than telling, and listening to build mutual understanding and maybe even consensus, facilitation is an important component of leading a meeting.

In this workshop you will learn various techniques for helping groups receive and process information, how to assess whether consensus is desirable and possible, and different approaches for recording and disseminating the results of a meeting.

This workshop is offered in conjunction with Mastering Meetings. You will benefit by taking these two workshops back-to-back.


We will explore the differences between instruction, facilitation, and management in small and large groups.

What is a Facilitator?
You will learn about some key skills for facilitation and the facilitation process.

Content and Process
It is very important for facilitators to understand the difference between content and process, as a facilitator has a different role in each element.

Types of Thinking
During this module you will learn about different thinking styles, including divergent versus convergent thinking.

Communication Skills
A key part of the facilitator’s toolbox is communication skills. We will discuss how to ask good questions, how to actively listen, how to use non-verbal messages, and how to listen for common ground.

Common Facilitation Techniques
We will look at various techniques that facilitators often use.

Effective Feedback
Giving and receiving feedback is an important part of facilitation. You will learn about and practice both of these elements.

Facilitating an Open Discussion
You will learn some techniques that you can use to ensure everyone in the group gets a chance to speak.

This module will look at some techniques facilitators can use to intervene. Participants will have an opportunity to practice these interventions in a role play.

Agreements and Consensus
We will explore ways to assess the possibility and desirability of achieving agreement, and how to achieve the desired outcome.

Facilitation Methodologies
We will look at various tools used to facilitate a meeting, such as brain storming and SWOT analysis.

Skills Taught: 
  • Distinguish facilitation from instruction
  • Identify the competencies linked to effective small group facilitation
  • Understand the difference between content and process
  • Use common process tools to make meetings easier and more productive