Today’s blog centres on my experience of having to facilitate learning programs that I design and conduct. Recently in November we had the opportunity to conduct a teambuilding program for a Team of high performing senior executives. The profile included the group’s CEO, directors and CEOs of sister companies based in Australia. It was immensely daunting for me as I dug in deep to ensure every thing I could to ensure the program met the requirements of the participants.

Facilitating a debrief

After an activity what will come next is the critical facilitating session. This is the difference we bring in Teamwork Bound in the team building programs that we have conducted. As a facilitator my team have included techniques that took into account Howard Gardner’s ground breaking work on multiple intelligence. For those of you who are not familiar with the work done by Garner, his theory suggests that there are a variety of styles by which individuals grasps information. As an educator, you need to be mindful of that and in the 1/2 a day or 1 day training program, depending on the profile of your participants you can include an appropriate reviewing technique to address aspects of the Multiple intelligence described by Gardner. Hence if you would like to facilitate well, you must use a variety of facilitation techniques when you review an activity; it is not about just asking the right questions, its more.

Here is a table that will provide examples from each of the 8 multiple intelligence, described by Gardner.

Intelligence

Reviewing technique

Logical mathematicalConsider analysing the group’s performance, using visual charts, numerical quantification of numbers, and consider cause and effect line of discussions.
Bodily KinestheticDuring the reviewing session, you can initiate movements. Roger Greenway’s use of the rope held together and the knots used to shuffle left and right is one I have used frequently.
Visual SpatialUse of drawing as a form of expressing is one technqiue that you would like to leverage on. Use a simple chart, have 6 windows to recap what was covered in a day. Here’s a catch, get the particpant to showcase it with visuals without the use of words.
LinguisticThis is by far the most common approach used. It is about, talking, listening and discussing. Take it a step further consider using poetry, didactic questioning or even use of foreign language interpersed with the common lingua franca of the group.
MusicalUse of rhytem, timing, sounds and percussion instruments, or even musical skits to engage the learners.
Interpersonal – Knowledge of othersUse of a group contract is one I have utilzed frequently. You may even want to consider pair debriefs where, you designate parameters of issues to be discussed.
Intapersonal – Knowledge of selfHere is where, as a facilitator you may want to initiate short quiet times. Where you can allow learners to journal, write and reflect about what had happen during the day. One technqiue that I have found useful is a letter that you initiate for yourself.
Natural – EnvironmentalConnecting to the outdoor environment and using nature and what you can find in the outdoors as focal point for review.

One critical feature of a good facilitation session is your ability to engage the learners in a meaningful way without the  trappings of talking down or preaching. It requires acute skills that will require you to engage your leaners so that the review sessions meet the learning outcomes designed. This is the approach that we have undertaken and in the review of our evaluations, our scoring for facilitation skills is usually high in the range of a perfect score.