Facilitation Patterns and Antipatterns
Facilitation skills are essential for anyone. In fact, everyone facilitates whether they know it or not! Do you work on a team, manage an organization, or otherwise work with others? The opportunity to facilitate will come up.
Steven “Doc” List will lead you to explore the common patterns & antipatterns that come up in facilitation, for the facilitator and the participants. We’ll have some fun by taking on roles, and exploring the behaviors that work and that don’t work. The session will include some time on specific activities and techniques that can be used for effective facilitation.
Attendees will be given lists of patterns and antipatterns, and each attendee will be assigned a specific pattern or antipattern. Each pattern or antipattern will be described by four attributes: motto, beliefs, behaviors, and characteristics.
- The first 30 minutes will be a short presentation about the fundamentals of facilitation and an introduction to Doc’s Patterns and Antipatterns work.
- The next 30 - 40 minutes will be spent in discussion/interaction. Attendees will be grouped randomly, and each group will hold a discussion. Before the discussion, each group member will be given a pattern/antipattern to represent, and they will be expected to behave as their pattern/antipattern in terms of motto, beliefs, behaviors, and characteristics. The rest of the group will then be encouraged to identify each other group member’s pattern/antipattern by name at the end of the discussion.
- Multiple discussion rounds will be held, with each group member being assigned two patterns/antipatterns in each subsequent round.
- This will be followed by large group discussion, specific stories of experience, and/or with discussion of how to deal with, encourage, discourage, or otherwise address that pattern/antipattern, whether exhibited by self (facilitator) or participant.
- The last 10 - 15 minutes will be spent reviewing specific activities that can be used and how they apply. Sources will include Agile Retrospectives by Diana Larsen and Esther Derby and Collaboration Explained by Jean Tabaka.
Example Patterns and Antipatterns
Note that more detail is available on my blog at http://www.stevenlist.com/blog/category/musings/facilitation-musings/
- Antipatterns: Superhero (rescuing, caring), Professor Moriarty/Evil Genius (conniving, manipulating, conspiring), Gladiator (combative)
- Patterns: Switzerland (neutral), Guide, Curious George (asking, not telling)
- Recognize patterns and antipatterns in meetings and facilitation
- Apply some specific techniques to address antipatterns
- Learn activities and techniques to use to facilitate meetings