Facilitation Techniques

Last updated: May 27, 2021
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Estimated reading time: 2 min

Compiled by John Shertzer, Kiwanis International

TechniqueDescriptionWhen to Use
B.L.U.F.Stands for Bottom Line Up Front. Start the meeting by ensuring that everyone is clear on the purpose for the meeting and the intended outcomes.Before discussions begin.
Once-AroundAsk each person around the table, in order, to share their perspective on the issue/question.Discussion is unbalanced Decision seems rushed
Talking StickMembers can only speak if holding a particular item, such as a stick or a gavel.Discussion is heated Members are talking over each other
Assigned DutyAssign a duty, such as recording notes or charting discussion, to members who are over-participating or under-participating.Discussion is unbalanced Certain individuals are disruptive Certain individuals are disengaged
Teacher’s ChairLeader/Facilitator sits directly next to a problematic team member.Certain individuals are disruptive
Hallway TalkLeader/Facilitator pulls a team member aside during a break, or before/after the meeting to discuss their behavior. For withdrawn members, this could be a friendly opportunity to check in and make sure they are okay; for disruptive members, this  could be an opportunity for confrontation.Certain individuals are disruptive Certain individuals are disengaged
Pointed QuestionFacilitator directs a question to a team member who hasn’t been sharing opinions during team discussion.Certain individuals are disengaged
TTYP (Turn To Your  Partner)Before a bigger discussion, ask participants to first discuss the issue/question with another team member. Each pair would then summarize their discussion for the  larger group.Discussion is unbalanced Decision seems rushed Issue is controversial Issue is complex
Small GroupBefore a bigger discussion, ask participants to first discuss the issue/question in  small groups with other team members. Each group would then summarize their  discussion for the larger group.Discussion is unbalanced Decision seems rushed Issue is controversial Issue is complex
StoplightProvide each participant with cards colored red, yellow, and green. Ask participants  to raise the card that corresponds with their feeling on the discussion. Green (Go)  means “I like the proposal as is.” Yellow (Slow) means “I want more explanation and  perhaps tweaking.” Red (Stop) means “I don’t like it and would prefer to see it  changed.”Discussion is at a standstill. Discussion is unbalanced. Certain individuals are disengaged
StakeholderAsk team members, either individually or collectively, to assume the perspective of a  key stakeholder in the outcome of the decision. For example, ask one team member  to play the role of “member” and react to the proposal from that standpoint.  Another person could be “donor”, and so on and so forth.Issue is controversial. Decision seems rushed.
Mutual InvitationCall on one team member to share their opinion on the issue. That person should  then sincerely invite someone else in the group to share their opinion. That person  does the same thing and so on. Team members can pass if invited to share.Discussion is at a standstill. Discussion is unbalanced. Certain individuals are disengaged
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