Monday, December 11

The Three P’s of Facilitation

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You may have heard of the 4P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion), but did you know that there are P’s for facilitation too?  Three of them in fact!  These are important things you want to pay attention to when you are conducting a live training program or an online seminar to ensure the maximum learning experience for your participants.

Here are the 3 P’s of facilitation:

  1. Pace.  As a facilitator you are responsible and must be aware of the pace of your workshop.  If you focus exclusively on just delivering information and data to your participants, chances are that by the end of your 3, 4 or 6 hour workshop you will only be partially through the content.  So the pacing of a workshop is a critical element for the facilitator. 

It might be helpful to look at pacing like an accordion; some things will need to be expanded while other things will need to be contracted in order to stay within the time constraints of your workshop.  One of the worse things that can happen from a participant’s perspective is for them to get to the end of the workshop and realize they didn’t get through everything you promised in your outline or agenda.  The facilitator must pace the process to ensure they deliver all the material.

  1. Process.   It’s all about process.  It’s about the having the ability to take content and transfer it over so that the participants can own it.  Some useful questions to

ask when you are designing a workshop are:  What activities will you use?  How will you debrief those activities?  How will you set it up so that people  will feel successful?  How will you create a positive environment so that people will be eager to open up?  How will you get people to commit to applying what

they have learned back in their real lives?  All of these issues point to the process of learning, and they are a critical piece to designing a really effective workshop.  

  1. Pulse.  Just like when you take your own pulse on your wrist, the facilitator has to take the pulse of the whole class.  What is the energy of the participants at any one moment in the program?  If they are all engaged in an activity and the energy is high, then you may want to let that activity go on a little longer.  It’s important to note when there is a high level of energy then learning is taking place because people are engaged. 

On the other end of the spectrum, if you sense a lull in your training program, notice what is going on.  How can you get the energy back up again?  It is important for you as a facilitator to gauge the energy of the participants and adjust as needed, rather than focusing just on getting though all the content.

So next time you plan to do an online or in person training program, be sure to think of your three P’s – Pace, Process and Pulse.

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