Facilitation: Troubleshooting Difficult Situations

By YWB Staff from YW Boston

Goals: To give participants an opportunity to receive peer support around their fears and doubts regarding facilitation. To give participants an opportunity to share their knowledge, experience, and advice with peers regarding facilitating difficult situations

Description: Staff anonymously share the most challenging facilitation situations they’ve encountered and/or their biggest facilitation fears and everyone draws on their knowledge and experience to brainstorm potential solutions.

Try it on: Experienced: Execute the activity as described in the facilitator’s guide

Novice: If participants are having trouble coming up with scenarios, have some common difficult facilitation scenarios already prepared to discuss. You can also ask for volunteers to field each scenario so that the person who reads the card doesn’t feel pressured to answer. If you have a lot of new staff without facilitation experience, encourage them to try to intuit how they would respond. As trainers you can provide additional insight, but getting people to troubleshoot on their own is more empowering and will build confidence in a way that providing the “correct” answer will not.

Assessing Impact: The impact of this activity can be assessed by asking the participants if they feel more confident about their ability to facilitate, even when challenges arise. If participants are still nervous, adding additional training (e.g. practice facilitation sessions) is recommended.

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