We've distilled being a great Plaetos Facilitator to three core behaviors, being:
A curious Facilitator encourages participation by asking follow-up questions, and occasionally paraphrases comments for the group to ponder. A combination of initiating and probing questions can be an effective approach to bring out participants’ ideas further. Here are some ways to do that:
Use probing to determine the mood or general opinion of the group about a certain topic in the discussion. Just asking for a “thumbs up-thumbs down” response to your comment can be enough to get an impression of the general opinion of the group.
Ask open-ended questions to follow up an idea, or to probe a participant further, like in the sample comments below. (For further reading check out: What are some examples of open-ended questions?)
- "What do you mean by that?"
- "Can you give us an example?"
- "How did you come to this view?"
Directing questions or comments to the group
Redirecting a question to the group helps get other people involved in the discussion and encourages reflection. You can do this to probe for input from quieter members of the group, but remember some people might not like being pushed or ‘encouraged’ too much.
- "I notice that some of you are viewing but not contributing so I hope you will find a way to let us hear from you at some point."
- “I have noticed that some of you haven't said anything so far. Please feel free to jump in at any point."
Encourage feelings and stories as well as ideas
Remember that "I feel like..." and "I feel that ..." are not statements of feelings. Feelings are expressions of emotions - anger, frustration, joy, happiness, for example.
- "How did that make you feel? Remember, there are no wrong answers here.”
- “I understand that made you angry. That would have been upsetting for anyone. Do others have similar experiences?”