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GenCap Technica l Workshop Facilitation Skills (Meetings, Facilitation, Coordination). Trainer: Jérôme L’host . Geneva – 22 February , 2012. To share some successful Facilitation best practices To experience stage heat and work on the Execution Gap

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gencap technica l workshop facilitation skills meetings facilitation coordination

GenCapTechnical WorkshopFacilitation Skills(Meetings, Facilitation, Coordination)

Trainer: Jérôme L’host

Geneva– 22 February, 2012


To sharesomesuccessfulFacilitation best practices

To experience stage heat and work on the Execution Gap

To discuss and sort out real-life issues (Co-developmentMode)

to know to want the execution gap to do
To Know

To Want

The Execution Gap

To Do


Effective group meetings really boil down to three things:

They achieve the group's objective.

They take up a minimum amount of time.

They leave participants feeling that a sensible process has been followed.

the meeting s objective
The Meeting's Objective
  • Do you want a decision?
  • Do you want an agreement ?
  • Do you want to generate ideas?
  • Are you getting status reports?
  • Are you communicating something?
  • Are you raising awareness ?
  • Are you trying to influence ?
  • Are you making plans?
  • Are youco-ordinating ?
focus focus and focus
Focus, Focus and…Focus

To help you determine what your meeting objective is, complete this sentence:

At the close of the meeting/session, I want the group to ...

(Consideryournext 2 meetings)

to prepare an agenda consider the following factors

To prepare an agenda, consider the following factors:

Priorities – what absolutely must be covered?

Results – what do we need to accomplish at the meeting?

Participants – who needs to attend the meeting for it to be successful?

Sequence – in what order will you cover the topics?

Timing – how much time will you spend on each topic?

Date and Time – when will the meeting take place?

Place – where will the meeting take place?

diamond facilitation structure



Information Immersion

Expansion / Divergence

Opportunity Area Identification, Common Interest

Innovation / Idea Generation/ Possibilities/ Proposals

Criteria Setting

Idea Selection/ Agreement

Focus / Convergence


Action Plan

Diamond Facilitation Structure

example stages in collective decisions
Example: Stages in collective decisions

Sharing information

Prioritization of issues

Constructing proposals

Collective action decisions


facilitated reflection


Q1- Whatis facilitation ?

Q2- Whatisexpectedfrom a Facilitator ?

beyond a definition
Beyond a definition…
  • Facilitation means making all group interactions easier;
  • Facilitation helps groups and organisations identify and resolve difficult issues;
  • It provides unique solutions to unique needs;
  • It is based on techniques that are only appropriate or inappropriate, not right or wrong;
  • Facilitation is based on perception; it is not an exact science.
a good facilitator
  • Is empathic
  • Is results-oriented
  • Masters process
  • Is firm on outcome
  • Is flexible on tactics
  • Is energetic
  • Listens actively
  • Is good at non-verbals
  • Involves everyone
  • Pauses and reflects
facilitation modes

Facilitation Modes is designed by Sabine Bhanot and Jerome L’Host based on ideas of John Townsend and Arthur D. Little






Facilitation Modes


Interaction between Trainer & Participant

Trainer’s contribution to content

Interaction among participants

Ownership of outcome by participants

Participants’ level of knowledge

Energy in the audience

Time available


facilitation modes definitions
Facilitation Modes: definitions
  • TELLING meanstransmitting information rapidly
  • PROPOSING meansselling an idea
  • MODERATING meansencouraging productive conversations
  • STIMULATING meansencouraging a richlycreativeenvironment
  • EMPOWERING meansenabling the group to manage itself
  • - MyComfort Zone -
  • Look at the five intervention modes to seewhereyoufeelmostcomfortable, especiallyunder pressure.
  • Ask a friend or colleague for feedback.
  • Then imagine yourself operating, atyour best, in an intervention mode thatis « new » for you.
  • Do the exercisemany times untilyoufeelatease. Start practising in yournext meeting.
what is coordination
What is coordination?

CO-llectively put things in ORDER

Working together towards shared goals

A voluntary process

Usually without clear vertical authority

“Facilitating different people to work together for a goal or effect”

Coordination skills are for everyone involved, not just for “coordinators.”

what sort of coordination
What sort of coordination?
  • “Facilitatingdifferent people to work together for a goal or effect”
  • But most of the time we are not coordinating others, we are coordinating with them.
  • Coordination is a voluntary process

Why/when do we need to coordinate?

Whom do we coordinate with?

Do I “coordinate others” or “coordinate with others”?

What does it feel like to “be coordinated” by someone else?


How do we know if coordination is working?

How do we know when it is not working?

coordination is a negotiation process
Coordination is a negotiation process
  • “Facilitatingdifferent people to work together for a goal or effect”
  • But most of the time we are not coordinating others, we are coordinating with them.
  • Coordination is a voluntary process

Do we really all have the same objectives?

Usually, each stakeholderhas a different agenda

We each engage in coordination only if we think we will achieve more of our own objectives that way than by working alone.

It has costs and benefits

coordination as negotiation benefits costs
Coordination as negotiation: Benefits & Costs


  • More work
  • Compromises
  • Dependencies
  • Slower
  • Damage relationships


  • Avoid duplication
  • Avoid contradiction
  • External appearance of unity
  • Build relationships
  • Information-sharing
  • Efficiency?
put yourself in their shoes
Put yourself in their shoes
  • Analyze each group’s interests, positions, objectives. Do we all have common interests?
  • What can they get out of coordinating with me/us? Can they do better than their expectations?
  • How can I help them achieve their objectives and get more out of this coordination relationship?
the coordinator as mediator
The coordinator as mediator

Since coordination is negotiation, sometimes a neutral party can help diverse groups find their zone of possible agreement.

A good coordinator encourages participation and buy-in from parties whose absence would obstruct others.

A coordinator helps parties look behind their positions and identify interests that might be shared with others.

A coordinator uses a problem-solving approach to overcome obstacles to agreement.

coordination as facilitation and cooperation
Coordination as facilitation and cooperation
  • Sometimes coordination fails to produce results, even when the parties involved have shared objectives and would all benefit from jointly coordinating their efforts. Opportunities are wasted.
  • Why?
  • Process problems.
    • Poor management of the process
    • Bad meetings,
    • Wasted time
    • Pointlessly obstructive behavior…
meetings or no meetings
Meetings or no meetings?

Coordination does not aim to meet

It aims to achieve action and change.

A meeting is just a tool - to be used only when it is the right tool to get the job done.

problems in coordination
Problems in coordination

Hierarchy and uneven power relationships

Favoritism or bias

Conflict of interest

Weak participation

meeting problems
Meeting problems

Unclear objectives

Group size

Agenda size/complexity

Lack of key actors

Disruptive behavior


Dealingwithdifficult participants

Whatis a difficult participant ?

How to deal withthem?

Group dynamics



Torn apart

Golden Triangle







Group Dynamics and behavior



dealing with dysfunctional behavior
Dealing with dysfunctional behavior
  • Latecomers
  • Mobile phones abusers
  • Sidetalks
  • Pax having an argument
  • « Oysters »
  • « Clowns »
  • « Dinosaurs »
  • Doodlers
  • You nameit…

Acknowledge receiptThe ‘acknowledge receipt’ is a tool which enables the facilitator to face attacks, objections, or aggression from others.It consists in a simple technique divided into four phases, all of them being equally essential.1.‘Listen’ till the last note, and ‘quiet’By listening and keeping silent you show the other person a genuine interest in his/her concern, and you also give him/her the opportunity to calm down and become less aggressive (should that be the case). Moreover after having listened and understood the question you are able to formulate your answer with care and accuracy.2. Constructive reformulationThis phase puts emphasis on the other person’s issue by showing him/her that you acknowledged receipt of his/her question or objection, that you received and understood his/her message. This phase also helps you to dig the positive side out of the question; it gives you indication on how to formulate your answer.Examples:Q. What you are saying is abstract… A. So if I understand well, you are looking for a concrete way of… Q. I have been doing this job for the past 20 years, and I can tell you that…A. I can see you have a long experience…


3. AnswerThe person asking the question usually expects from you a real answer – it should be clear, concise, and as complete as possible (if not, (s)he will not miss the opportunity to come back with the same issue).4. Return-question‘Returning the question’ means re-opening the debate in a positive direction (remember ‘the questioner is usually the leader’). The objective of such a phase consists either in making sure your answer was satisfying to the other person, or in enlarging the debate with your whole team (discussion, argumentation, brainstorming, etc.).

how to moderate
  • Know the Mental Models: images, assumptions and stories people carry in their minds.
  • Chain Reaction (or simplified Ladder of Inference)
  • (developed by C. Argyris and D. Schon - « The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook »)











  • Explore and moderate Mental Models
  • To avoid people battling over conclusions, you might:
  • Explain briefly the concept of Ladder of Inference
  • Ask for clarification:
  • « Can you help me understand how you came to this conclusion ? »,
  • « Give me some data … »
  • Ask others in the group what they think about the conclusion reached by one participant
bibliography resources

The Skilled Facilitator - Roger Schwarz

The Art of Facilitation - Dale Hunter, Anne Bailey, Bill Taylor 

The Facilitator’s Fieldbook - Thomas Justice & David W. Jamieson