Leadership Techniques that Support Group Facilitation
Jeff E. Brooks-Harris & Kevin G. Shollenberger

University of Hawai`i at Manoa

Checking-In / Round Robin - To ensure complete participation, it may be helpful to go around the group and have each member take a turn sharing. (Supports all four facilitation skills)

Writing - Writing can be used as a way for members to privately organize their thoughts before sharing with the larger group. One way to do this is by handing out index cards and having members record their thoughts. (Supports all four facilitation skills)

Using Humor - To build group rapport, you may want to use some moderate and appropriate humor. Humor should be used to create safety and not alienate or offend people in the group. (Engaging)

Self-Disclosing - At times, it is appropriate to share your own experience as an example or model. Self disclosure can also be used to build rapport with the group by highlighting your similarity to group members. (Engaging / Informing)

Surveying / Voting - One way to gather information about a group is to survey all the members or to have them vote on a particular issue or idea. (Informing)

Modeling - Demonstrating skills and/or behavior is an active way of providing information to a group that prepares them for practice or other forms of involvement. (Informing / Involving)

Sharing in Pairs / Small Groups - Breaking the group into pairs or small groups allows all members to share their ideas in a less-threatening environment. After sharing in a small group, some members may find it more comfortable to share their ideas with the large group. Common themes can then be identified in an open discussion. (Involving)

Critiquing / Giving Feedback - One way to involve group members is to ask them to give feedback or to critique what you or others have said or done. It is important to encourage the group to start with strengths or positive feedback before suggesting areas for improvement. (Involving)

Role Playing - A great way to encourage new behavior is to ask group members to actually act out what they would do or say in a particular situation. Other group members can play other roles to flesh out the situation. (Involving / Planning)

Copyright 1998 Jeff E. Brooks-Harris & Kevin G. Shollenberger. Permission is granted to copy and use this handout provided this copyright notice remains intact.

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