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Facilitation – how I work

My 7 step plan for success

Planning your meeting, workshop or event and preparing your participants is as important as the facilitation of the event itself. So, I’ll work with you to develop a bespoke facilitation plan typically working through my 7 steps to success.

Step 1 – Briefing

7 step plan for facilitation - Step 1 - Briefing
Step 1 – Briefing

First we’ll explore your objectives for the event and discuss how I can help you with the facilitation. Next we’ll talk about the context in which you are working, the opportunities and challenges you face. Then we’ll think about the people it would be useful to involve in your event. And we’ll start drafting the experiential and rational aims for the event.

Then we’ll discuss your expectations and consider what needs to be different following the event and why? We’ll pinpoint how you’ll know the intervention has achieved its goals. And we’ll decide what short and longer term measures of success you may want to put in place.

Step 2 – Assessment

7 step plan for facilitation success - Step 2 - Assessment
Step 2 – Assessment

As your facilitator it is important for me to have a thorough understanding of the people you want to involve and their needs. This will ensure we design a plan that helps the group achieve its goals.

It can be useful to collect detailed information from a cross section of participants, or even the whole group, ahead of the design stage. This can be achieved easily through a short survey, one-to-one meetings, or a focus group. In addition to identifying different perspectives, this assessment activity often stimulates early thinking on the topic to be discussed. Importantly, this step can help prepare the group for the event you are planning.

Step 3 – Initial event design

7 step plan for facilitation success - Step 3 - Initial design
Step 3 – Initial design

One plan does not fit all!

As your facilitator, I’ll work with you to develop a bespoke plan for your event using data collected at the assessment stage. I’ll clarify the event outcomes, draft the agenda, plan activities and develop detailed facilitation notes for your agreement.

The venue and room layout can make a huge difference to the success of your event. And so we’ll discuss what can best help you meet your desired outcomes. In addition, we’ll talk about roles and responsibilities for event logistics. For example: event invitations, pre-work, room set-up, refreshments, transcribing flip charts, writing up the event, feeding back to the group post event etc.

Step 4 – Feedback and refinement

7 step plan for facilitation success - Step 4 - Feedback and refinement
Step 4 – Feedback and refinement

Once I have drafted the event plan we’ll discuss the thinking behind the proposed design. Then I’ll use your feedback to refine the facilitation plan as necessary. If you are planning a large scale event, I recommend involving a small group of participants in the whole planning process.  This helps to ensure that the plan we agree will support the group to achieve its goals.

Step 5 – Final preparation

7 step plan for facilitation success - Step 5 - Final preparation
Step 5 – Final preparation

After updating the plan I’ll confirm the final design and roles and responsibilities before, during and after the event.

The final plan may involve giving participants some material to read and questions to think about in advance. In this way, they come to the event ready to contribute their ideas.

Step 6 – Facilitating the event

7 step plan for facilitation success - Step 6 - Facilitating the event
Step 6 – Facilitating the event

During your event I will be implementing our agreed plan, keeping the discussion moving, and encouraging participation from everyone.  I’ll also make in-the-moment changes as needed to ensure the event meets your identified aims.

Step 7 – Evaluation and follow up

7 step plan for facilitation success - Step 7 - Evaluation and follow up
Step 7 – Evaluation and follow up

After the event we’ll review how it went. For larger scale sessions it can be useful to ask participants to complete a post event survey to help inform the design of any future sessions. It’s also important to check in with group members that any agreed follow up activity is being implemented. And, if it’s helpful, then I can also facilitate a short follow up meeting to discuss progress and help the group maintain momentum.

Feel free to contact me for an informal chat, if you’d like to talk through an event you’re planning. I’d be very happy to discuss how I might be able to help you.