How do you establish a team or working culture that encourages people to be fully involved and supported?
This is an ongoing challenge for facilitators. It requires an understanding of facilitator authority, group
development, and authentic leadership.
Facilitator option: Read Section 1.6 on contracting; Section 1.7 on valuing; and Sections 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 on
the issues of inclusion, control, and openness. See Activity 69, an interesting exercise that looks at
Outbursts of emotion can be disconcerting in work settings. However, skillful facilitators should be trying
to help their teams and staff express their emotions appropriately. The question is how best to do this.
Facilitator option: You will need to know how to shut down destructive behavior, as well as how to encourage
people to express their feelings. See Section 1.8 on managing feelings and Section 1.7 on valuing ideas.
Activity 44 is a useful activity for helping groups examine the subject of emotions.
Giving positive, constructive, and challenging feedback is one of the ways a facilitator establishes a learning
culture and builds trust among teams and groups. It is a key tool in the facilitator’s toolkit.
Facilitator option: Section 1.10 focuses on how to give and receive feedback. Section 2.10 focuses on the need
for facilitators to get feedback from their own peers as part of their own continuous development.
Defense mechanisms such as fight/flight can be triggered in a moment, and usually involve a reduction in
participation levels and trust. Facilitators need to understand how such a simple defense mechanism is
triggered and what to do about it when it occurs.
Facilitator option: Read Section 1.9 on challenging behavior; Section 2.8 on scapegoating; and Section 3.4
on defense patterns.
When a team or group loses focus, people will quickly become frustrated and demotivated. In these
circumstances the facilitator needs to take charge and reestablish aims, objectives, and perspective.
Facilitator option: Making sure that people are clear about the task and process is one of the issues here (see
Section 1.1). You will also need to know how and when to intervene (see Section 2.6). Section 1.5 on the
need for planning is also relevant, and Activity 71 is a good exercise for helping teams see where they have
reached in relation to their objective.
As a facilitator, you will need some understanding of the ways in which groups behave and develop.
Facilitator option: Sections 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4 provide the facilitator with some of the key dynamics
involved in group behavior.
viii • THE FAST FACILITATOR • Key Issues:A Quick Guide