Building Capacity...

—> Through Facilitation

The Center recognizes that facilitation is cultivated and developed over time. It cannot be developed in a vacuum on the strength of a single training session. Good facilitation is as much art as science and takes (1) knowledge of oneself and of others, (2) understanding of the purpose, context, culture, and climate, and (3) flexibility in the moment while adhering to and honoring the core values. Moreover, trainers in facilitation need to be more than content experts; they need to be adept group process facilitators as well. So the good facilitator possesses not only the nuts and bolts skill but also the personal qualities of good character and judgment.

To be sure, there is an infrastructure of "mechanics" in the toolbox of any good facilitator, and the Center provides customized training in three forms:

Running Effective Meetings

The Art of Facilitation

Facilitation for Large and Small Groups

In addition to training workshops, the Center also provides facilitation services directly to clients who seek an impartial third party to preside over meetings of all kinds, from board and committee deliberations to staff retreats and membership meetings or public conferences.

Mechanics of Facilitation

Keep meetings on track and on the agenda.
Ensure that all participants are heard from who wish to speak.
Raise key follow-up questions as issues arise.
Recognize any impasse and propose a way out.
Monitor for signs of friction or conflict and diffusing tension.
Distill, paraphrase, and summarize key points.
Identify the issues resolved and others still pending.
Adjourn with a clear sense of action items for the next meeting.

The Center may publish a white paper on facilitation soon. Check our Library for this and other documents.