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Facilitator practices to follow Facilitator practices to avoid Do: Don’t: carefully assess the needs of the members ignore what the group thinks or feels probe sensitively into people’s feelings avoid checking participants’ concerns create an open and trusting atmosphere fail to listen carefully to what is being said help people understand why they are there lose track of key ideas view yourself as serving the group’s needs take poor note of what is being said make members the centre of attention try to be the centre of attention speak in simple and direct language get defensive work hard to stay neutral get into personality battles display energy and appropriate levels of put people down assertiveness avoid or ignore conflict champion ideas that you don’t personally favour let a few people or the leader dominate treat all participants as equals forget to check how the meeting is going stay flexible ready to change direction if necessary be overly passive on process listen to fully understand push ahead on an irrelevant agenda make notes that reflect what participants mean have an alternative approach periodically summarize related ideas let discussions get badly sidetracked know how to use a wide range of protocols let discussions ramble without proper closure make sure every session ends with clear steps for the next meeting ignore when to stop insure that participants feel ownership for what has be insensitive to cultural diversity issues been achieved use inappropriate humour end on a positive and optimistic note Adapted from Bens. (2005). Facilitating with Ease!: Core Skills for Facilitators, Team Leaders and Members, Managers, Consultants, and Trainers, with CD, New and Revised Edition. Sarasota, Florida: Jossey-Bass.
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