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Tools for Facilitators

When facilitating a meeting, the facilitator often uses these two simple tools to help the group focus on the processes they use to reach decisions.


The Feedback Model – which contains four levels:

1. Misunderstanding or misinterpreting (unintentionally) what was said

2. Missing out some important points or details

3. Feeding back accurately and fully what was said

4. Getting behind this message’s words

In Uncertainty, there is a need to determine the question and find the real need. This can be daunting yet it’s often discovered in searching for it by using the Feedback Model. This model provides the means to:

o    Ensure understanding between people

o    Develop ideas

o    Climb out of uncertainty

o    Translate between specialists

People often express half-baked opinions, ideas and thoughts not because they are incompetent but, rather, because the task is uncertain. Ensuring effective feedback can help the individual and the group uncover the real issues and fashion new ideas.

Summarise – Propose – Outcome/ Output (SPO). The Summary is the context or background and the task issues at hand. Acknowledging this, the Proposal suggests a process, in the form of a model, tool or techniques and format that can be used to tackle the task. The Outcome or Output draws this back into the realm of the task and identifies what the group will gain by adopting this way forward. The SPO is powerful because it:

o    Connects task and process – and makes the symbiotic link

o    Demonstrates the significance of  process in tackling the task

o    Allows the group to take responsibility by enabling it to challenge the S, P or O and, thus, become more aware of process thinking

o    Introduces models, tools and techniques in context and demonstrates their appropriate use

o    Gives anyone the ability to introduce process

Many management decisions go awry because of a failure to take into account all the necessary stages of situational analysis and solution finding. Facilitators should follow a nine-step formula, which reflects the Six Sigma approach:

1. Identify Issues – and suspend judgement about causes

2. Focus on the main issue(s)/cause(s)

3. Define the problem

4. Find the main causes

5. Select the criteria for an effective solution

6. Generate ideas for potential solutions. Some will be:

  • Adaptive – rather than taking the problem away, they find a way around it
  • Corrective – they correct aspects of the process to solve the problem
  • Preventative – they ensure that it can’t happen again

7. Pinpoint the most appropriate solution

8. Adverse consequences – sometimes a solution can solve one problem and cause another

9. Action Planning and implement the solution

If you’re interested in learning how to implement these techniques or think you could use them in your organization, go here to find out more.

Posted in Qualifications.

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