1 of 11: Suggested Facilitation Strategies: Me, My Behavioural Preferences & My Facilitation Practice

There is no one perfect Facilitator profile. Whilst the International Association of Facilitators (www.iaf-world.org) describes 6 Competencies of a Facilitator that we must all master, when it comes to our profiles we can be extrovert or introvert; we can be thinkers or feelers; we can be debaters or peace-keepers; and so on.  What is key is that we know who we are, and that we have strategies in place to ensure that who we are affects our facilitation practice… for the good.

In our “Facilitation by Design” training programme – run within organizations convening many stakeholder conversations – we expressly address how who we are affects our facilitation practice.  With reference to the diversity of diagnostic tools and assessments that participants have engaged with prior to the training, we consider behavioural preferences and explore what this might mean for our work as facilitators. 
Take, for example, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) that suggests psychological preferences in how we perceive the world and make decisions; the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation instrument (FIRO-B) measuring interpersonal needs and preferences with regards our interactions with others; and the StrengthsFinder personal assessment tool that identifies individuals’ top talent themes.  Reflecting on behavioural preferences – as illuminated by these tools and many others besides – we ask: “How are our preferences manifesting in our facilitation practice?” “How are they affecting how each of us works with groups in a facilitation role?” 
Building on these reflections, each participant then identifies three “Learning edges” or areas on which they would like to focus particular attention in order to strengthen their facilitation practice.  Possible strategies for doing so are suggested.  

In a series of 10 blog posts to follow, we will share insights into recurrent learning edges for facilitators and, for each, some suggested strategies for strengthening facilitation practice.  

Recurrent Learning Edges For Facilitators

2 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Dear Elizabeth, Lizzie,
    I found your blogs really helpful. It is difficult to find interesting reading on the subject of facilitation. For my phd and the book on facilitation of games & simulations I am writing with prof. De Caluwé and other experts in the field from around the world, I found many references you wrote very useful for the book. Since facilitation is a practical ‘science’ I will incorporate your findings in my research as well, so little has been written down with this level of quality. We have many similar experiences, although there are differences in handling different kinds of games/simulations, what you wrote truly has added value. Thank you for this great site and for inspiring me and many others this way.
    For me being a good facilitator is being a person that keeps learning and guide others in becoming continuous and conscious learners.
    Greetings Marieke (Member ISAGA , independent games researcher)

  2. Gillian Martin Mehers
    Gillian Martin Mehers says:

    Thank you Marieke, for your nice comment. It is good to know that our writing is useful to other facilitators and gamers .We are both very keen gamers (I have been to a past ISAGA meeting and really enjoyed meeting other gamers and games-based educators). Keep up the good work! all the best, Gillian

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