Re: A facilitators checklist
From: Evan Hunt (evanhsco.COM)
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 95 18:04 CST
Hmm.  My general guidelines for facilitating a meeting:

* The facilitator's job is to create a safe environment in which
  others can work toward consensus.  The facilitator is _NOT_ in
  charge.  On issues about which there are many opinions, try to speak
  last, or not at all.  Think of yourself as a midwife, not a parent--
  you have an essential role in guiding the meeting to fruition, but
  you are not _creating_ the meeting, and it is not your job to think
  up all the solutions to all the problems.

* You are responsible for making sure that everyone gets a chance to speak.
  If four people speak at once, stop them and announce the order in which
  they will get the floor--"Pete, Sue, Ed, Lucy."  Keep eye contact
  with the members of the group; be aware of the ones who want to speak
  but are too shy to shout over the general din, and give them their

* Writing the agenda in large letters in a place visible to all participants
  (blackboard, whiteboard, easel tablet, whatever) helps the group to
  keep its own focus.

* The average attention span is stretched to the limit after about
  fifty minutes of sitting still.  Try to remember to take a break--at
  least five minutes, preferably ten--each hour.  "A motion to adjourn"--
  or take a break--"is always in order."

I guess those are the main things I keep in mind.  It's not really that
hard, it's just a new way of thinking for most people--you're not leading
_or_ following, and that means learning new ways of relating to people.
It's usually more pleasant than leading or following, so have fun.


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