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Chapter 3. What Facilitators Do > Putting Your Facilitation Skills in Action

Putting Your Facilitation Skills in Action

Do you have what it takes to be a top-flight facilitator? Here are a few comments that inexperienced, ineffective facilitators might make. In the blank spaces that follow each comment, write what you think an experienced, effective facilitator might say instead.

1: “What should we talk about in our meeting today?”

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A: Instead of: “What should we talk about in our meeting today?” consider…

“Did everyone get a copy of today’s meeting agenda that I distributed last week?”

2: “Here’s how I think we should solve this problem …”

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A: Instead of: “Here’s how I think we should solve this problem…” consider…

“Now that we have reached an agreement as to what the problem is, what are some possible solutions?”

3: “Rita, that idea makes no sense at all. You’ll have to do better than that.”

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A: Instead of: “Rita, that idea makes no sense at all. You’ll have to do better than that.” consider…

“I’m sorry Rita, but I don’t understand your point. Could you explain it again, please?”

4: “Great idea, Fred. That is obviously the best solution offered today!”

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A: Instead of: “Great idea, Fred. That is obviously the best solution offered today!” consider…

“Thanks for your input, Fred. Would anyone care to comment on Fred’s proposal?”

5: “Okay, it’s time to vote. Who is in favor of Rita’s proposed solution? Who prefers Fred’s?”

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A: Instead of: “Okay, it’s time to vote. Who is in favor of Rita’s proposed solution? Who prefers Fred’s?” consider…

“We have discussed the merits of both Rita’s and Fred’s proposals. Is there any way we might be able to combine the advantages of both ideas?”

6: “We tried that approach two years ago and it did not work.”

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A: Instead of: “We tried that approach two years ago and it did not work.” consider…

“Allow me to write that approach on the flip chart. Are there any other possibilities we might add to the list?”

7: “We have listed eight possible solutions. Which is the worst idea we can safely eliminate from further consideration?”

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A: Instead of: “We have listed eight possible solutions. Which is the worst idea we can safely eliminate from further consideration?” consider…

“We have listed eight possible solutions. Unless someone has a ninth option, please list on separate sheets of paper the four solutions you think would be the most viable. We will then discuss the top choices in greater detail.”

8: “No Bob, we can’t discuss that. It’s not relevant to the issue at hand.’

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A: Instead of: “No Bob, we can’t discuss that. It’s not relevant to the issue at hand.” consider…

"I see your point Bob, but could you hold that thought until next week when we are scheduled to address that issue?”




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