This Tools for Change Handout on Facilitation was compiled by myself (Jessica Bell). The content was developed by Leah Henderson and I while we were preparing for the two workshops on facilitation we hosted earlier this year. There’s a lot of facilitation guides out there but very few are directed to facilitating in the advocacy and social movement world.
The handout covers a range of useful topics, including:
- what a facilitator does and does not do;
- steps you need to take before a meeting (including deciding whether you actually need a meeting and assessing a group’s decision making process and culture);
- establishing ground rules;
- summarizing basic facilitation tools (from brainstorming to spectrograms to quadrants);
- listing additional facilitation resources (we really like the series of eight slim books called “Facilitation Resources” that are published by the University of Minnesota Extension Service in 1999. You can buy each volume for about $8.); and
- outlining the exercises we used to teach facilitation. (If you try these facilitation teaching tools out please tell us how they work for you.)
Then there’s this sample organizational chart. We find these organizational charts useful for determining who or what group is responsible for which decision. By looking at this diagram, for instance, you can tell that a conversation about short-term financial projects (such as organizing the yearly Christmas fundraiser) will need to involve the fundraising working group. This can be helpful if you are an external facilitator working with a group that is unfamiliar to you.