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What is facilitation?

Facilitation, literally means “make things easier”. It is a way to encourage participation, a sense of ownership and creativity. It’s an art to lead people to achieve a common goal through a process. The focus of facilitation is process (how to do something) not the content (what to do). Facilitation is related to “progress”, by taking things from point A to point B. The facilitator guides a group to a destination. Facilitation allows an easier way for the people to reach where they agree to go to. During this process, the facilitator’s helps reveal a decision which can be accepted by all the members of the group.

What is the facilitator’s role?

The facilitator assists a group or organization to operate more effectively through the joint effort to achieve a common goal. Through the process and guidance, the facilitator helps the group to understand and make decisions to accomplish a mission with more ease. The facilitator focuses on the group and its work on hand; the role of a facilitator is to assist and guide, not control. The facilitator is “content neutral”, who uses fair, open and inclusive process and methods to complete group work, not holding position or viewpoint to the group’s issue. The facilitator helps the group to go in depth with their thinking, assumption, belief and values, and the system procedure and content. An excellent facilitator knows how to lead the group to establish a durable agreement.

What core competencies must a facilitator have?

According to the definition of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF), a professional facilitator must have the following six core competencies:

A. Create Collaborative Client Relationships
B. Plan Appropriate Group Processes
C. Create and Sustain a Participatory Environment
D. Guide Group to Appropriate and Useful Outcome
E. Build and Maintain Professional Knowledge
F. Model Positive Professional Attitude

Facilitator must abide by the Statement of Values and Code of Ethics

The facilitator is deposited with the client’s trust to facilitate critical issues in the group, he/she must give the client duetrustworthiness, and abide by the Statement of Values and Code of Ethics for Facilitators. You may refer to the Statement of Values and Code of Ethics for Facilitators established by the International Association of Facilitators (IAF), its key points are as the following:

Client Service─We are in service to our clients, using our group facilitation competencies to add value to their work.

Conflict of Interest─We openly acknowledge any potential conflict of interest.

Group Autonomy─We respect the culture, rights, and autonomy of the group.

Processes, Methods, and Tools─We use processes, methods and tools responsibly.

Respect, Safety, Equity, and Trust─We strive to engender an environment of respect and safety where all participants trust that they can speak freely and where individual boundaries are honoured. We use our skills, knowledge, tools, and wisdom to elicit and honour the perspectives of all.

Stewardship of Process─We practice stewardship of process and impartiality toward content.

Confidentiality─We maintain confidentiality of information.

Professional Development─We are responsible for continuous improvement of our facilitation skills and knowledge.