Facilitators need to avoid being the centre of attention
Transcript of this video:
Step away from the flipchart, that’s my favourite piece of advice to facilitators. If you go on Google and search for images of facilitation, quite a few of them will be of some person standing at a flipchart, scribing away, while a group of participants sit, obviously, physically at a lower height around some large round table, and it conveys the idea that the facilitator is somehow the center of attention.
That’s not the place I want to occupy in groups, most of the time. As a facilitator, I want to foster connections between the participants, not put myself in the role of some kind of clearing house, through whom all the business of the group has to travel. Even sitting in a circle, I try to avoid the role of calling on people indicating who goes next. I prefer to leave it to the group to kind of sense that for themselves.
So if you’re standing at the flipchart scribing, you’re also probably getting in the way in another way because chances are, as the facilitator, you will probably be less of a content expert than the participants themselves. So, if scribing is to be done at all, it probably should be done by people who understand the content best. If you try to do it, you’ll probably be slowing things down, needing clarification of spelling and knowing what acronyms mean.
It’s just another way of making yourself, not at the service of the group, you look like you’re at the service of the group, really, you’re just getting in the group’s way. So, my advice, step away from the flipchart.