Three Simple Tips for Facilitators

If you keep these three things in mind when planning to facilitate and when facilitating, you should find that you get an improved response from participants:

  • go-from-the-known-to-the-unknown
  • escape serial processes
  • give markers to the participants


This involves introducing information people are already aware of before you introduce new information.  The ‘known’ makes the ‘unknown’ more credible.

escape serial processes

When I do a SWOT Analysis with groups, for the last few years I have started the process (the identification of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) by putting four pieces of butchers' paper on four tables, each with one label, and spreading some markers around.  People can have a bit of a think before putting something down, they can leap-frog each other's ideas, and they can write what they like, where they like and when they like.

give markers to the participants

Recently Jim Callan, a lecturer at CQUniversity, reminded me that it is important to find ways to give participants control over how they share their input. As a result, when the students created organisation charts for Nike following a case study in class, I asked someone from each group to draw their group's version of the org chart on the wall-length whiteboard. That way we could all see how the different groups had approached what seemed on the surface to be a straightforward task.

I am giving markers to the participants, in quite a different way, during the SWOT Analysis mentioned above too.

All the best with your facilitation!