The Art of Facilitation

How many times have you experienced an engaging training session? You know, the kind where you couldn’t wait to return to the office to share your experience, the kind where you developed skills and knowledge because your facilitator was captivating? This week we decided to unpack the art of facilitation largely on account that the facilitation phase of your 4 Phases of Training can make or break you as a Skills Development Provider (SDP).

Before we get started though, let’s define the difference between training and facilitation. Training provides the theory and seeks to promote the retention of information whilst the process of facilitation is about encouraging the learner to think. In simple terms, training is about learning and facilitation is about thinking.

Daily, we work closely with SDPs and learners and we have identified that to become “interesting”, as facilitators we need to become “interested”. As facilitators, we must resist the temptation of falling into the trap of talking too much as opposed to encouraging our learners to think for themselves. We have composed the ABCs of Facilitation to assist you in being an effective facilitator:

  • A is for Action

Adult learners prosper through direct experience and whilst it’s tempting to want to deliver as much information as possible during theory training (we are after all subject matter experts), this can actually be counterproductive and could hamper learning. Adults learn best when they are able to relate new knowledge and information to experience. Top tip: include and encourage active and practical participation amongst your learners. The Learning is in the doing!

  • B is for Benefit

Adult learners need to understand and appreciate the purpose of your learning intervention in order to be enthusiastic about absorbing information. Adult learners require functional, goal-oriented, and problem-centred learning that can assist them to function both in their personal and work capacities. Top tip: during learner induction, engage with your learners in order to guide them into making the connection between their needs and your learning content.

  • C is for Collaboration

Adult learners thrive in an environment in which they have a sense of control and decision-making over their learning. Top tip: engage with your learners to establish what they want to learn. This should be done during Learner Induction and it should be noted that learners are more receptive to learning when they establish specific learning objectives for themselves.

Need advice and practical assistance with the Art of Facilitation?

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