Scammell & Associates Organization Development Consulting
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Group Facilitation Skills Workshops

Please click on a title to see a description of the workshop.


(2 - 3 Days, depending on the number of participants, experience level, and degree of nervousness!)


Research shows that when people work as part of a functioning group, they make higher-quality decisions than individuals make alone!

Facilitators enable people to collaborate to ensure quality results in areas such as defining customer requirements, scoping projects, generating ideas, solving problems, gaining commitment, or enabling continuous improvement.  Facilitators help enhance a group’s ability to effectively share and evaluate knowledge, experience and ideas.  They help resolve disagreements, reach consensus, and maintain positive relationships essential to the smooth functioning of the organization.  Whether working with intact departments, project teams, project stakeholders, or internal/external customers, facilitation skills are essential to maximizing performance.

Any member of a group can provide a facilitative approach.  It is not necessary to be the group's official leader.

This workshop will provide participants with the guidelines, processes, practical tools, and practice necessary to design and facilitate effective, results-oriented meetings.


Participants will plan, facilitate and troubleshoot goal-oriented group sessions using the guidelines, practical tools and facilitation techniques featured during the workshop.  Practice opportunities will be tailored to each participant’s personal workplace situation.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is for people who work with groups as part of their role in business, government, or community-based organizations.  No previous facilitation experience is required.

Benefits to Participants

Attending this workshop will enable you to:

  • Clarify objectives and desired outcomes;
  • Select facilitation processes and techniques appropriate to your objective;
  • Competently facilitate high-quality discussions;
  • Bring out the best in participants’ contributions;
  • Manage group dynamics;
  • Make high-quality decisions;
  • Use concise, practical tools to record and communicate decisions;
  • Improve accountability for accomplishing action items;
  • Evaluate the quality of your meetings and plan for continuous improvement.

Workshop Outline

Course objectives will be met through the use of case studies, instructor demonstrations and presentations, small-and-large-group discussions, and hands-on practice with feedback.  The course will be highly interactive.  Participants will each have a minimum of three opportunities to facilitate purposeful discussions, in addition to many opportunities to practice individual skills.

 1. Introduction

  • When to Have a Facilitated Meeting
  • Basic Model of Facilitation
  • Meeting Content versus Meeting Process
  • Facilitator Styles – Self Assessment

 2. Core Facilitation Skills

  • Questioning
  • Responding
  • Fielding Questions Asked by Participants
  • Making Observations
  • Leading Basic Discussions

 3. Meeting Preparation

  • Goal Setting and Scoping
  • Selecting and Preparing Participants
  • Designing the Agenda
  • Selecting Facilitation Methods and Techniques
  • Practical Documentation of Decisions

 4. Introducing the Meeting

  • Building Rapport
  • Establishing Ground Rules

 5. Facilitating for a Purpose

  • Hands-on practice of flexible Step-by-Step facilitation activities tailored to specific objectives, Including Stakeholder Consultation, Setting Priorities and Problem-Solving.  Over 15 step-by-step activities are included in the workshop materials; those demonstrated and practiced will be chosen by participants.

 6. Group Dynamics

  • Process Diagnosis and Intervention Model
  • Identifying Task, Maintenance and Individual Behaviors
  • Providing Process Feedback
  • Managing Challenging Participant Behaviors
  • Staying On-Track

 7. Integration

  • Final Practice Session

(1 Day; Prerequisite of Core Facilitation Skills or equivalent)


All facilitators occasionally meet participants who challenge a group's ability to get things done in a positive and productive manner.  They may be very domineering, they may be non-communicative, they may ramble, they may joke and get the idea.

As facilitators, we need to show respect for each group member.  This can be difficult when a group member is not showing the same respect to others.  It can be even more difficult if the specific difficult behavior is a trigger point for us!


Participants will learn to prevent, recognize, and neutralize the following types of challenging behavior in a pleasant and respectful manner:

  1. The Non-participant
  2. The Challenger
  3. The Dominator
  4. The Rambler
  5. The Superachiever
  6. The Center of Attention
  7. The Sidebar Conversationalist
  8. The Joker
  9. The Arguer
  10. The Know it All
  11. The Complainer
  12. The Fire Fighter
  13. The Rank-Puller

Workshop Outline

  1. Introduction

  • Risks and Rewards of Addressing vs. Ignoring Challenging Behaviour
  2. Insights into Challenging Behaviour
  • Thirteen Types of Challenging Behaviour
  • Self-Aware vs. Self-Unaware Participants
  • Why Do They Do It - What Do They Need?
   3. When the Facilitator Gets Triggered
  • Symptoms of Being Triggered
  • Typical Reactions to Triggers
  • How Triggered Behaviour Causes Escalation
  • Identifying Your Triggers
  • What to Do When You Are Triggered
   4. Neutralizing Challenging Behaviour
  • Prevention Through Meeting Design Techniques
  • Prevention Through Meeting Opening Techniques
  • Process Diagnosis and Intervention Model
  • Neutralization Through Use of Non-verbal Techniques (Level 1)
  • Neutralization Through Group Process Feedback (Level 2)
  • Neutralization Through Individual Feedback (Level 3)
  • Practice, practice, and more practice

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