Facilitation: 10 tips on how to make the space safer
- Articulate goals and expectations upfront and early, so everyone is clear about what we’re there to do.
- To keep it constructive and relevant, ask ‘What needs to happen here today for it to be useful to you?’
- Address expectations about what sort of event this is going to be, and make sure that people know that they can participate as and when ready. Visible ground rules or guidelines can help.
- Giving people the opportunity to speak and contribute early in a session – this way they are more likely to contribute as it goes along.
- Equally, don’t force participation. Make it clear that not saying anything is fine. And wait until people are ready.
- Use examples and questions that show we’re not assuming a white male able-bodied heterosexual (etc.) perspective.
- Facilitate simple, inclusive exercises that make people laugh, solve a problem or create something together.
- Explicitly state that All ideas are welcome – if they are!
- Allow disagreement – without it derailing an outcome.
- Stick to agreements you’ve contracted with the group – such as starting and finishing sessions on time.
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