Strategies for Improving Your Facilitation Skills
Jeff E. Brooks-Harris & Kevin G. Shollenberger
University of Hawai`i at Manoa

Identify Your Own Learning Style - Complete Kolb's Learning Style Inventory to assess your learning preferences. Your leadership style may emphasize your preferences and overlook the needs of other styles.

Consider the Diversity of Learning Styles in Your Group - Remember that people in your group probably have a range of learning styles. This will help you adapt various approaches to facilitation that meet diverse learning needs.

Reflect on Your Strengths and Weaknesses - Review the list of 20 facilitation skills and make note of those that you consider personal strengths and those that need the most improvement.

Target Specific Skills for Practice - Look over the skills you have identified for improvement or addition and decide which skills you should work on first. It is best to target no more than two or three at a time.

Practice Skills in a Safe Environment - Identify a safe place, such as a leadership class, where it is okay to make mistakes and experiment with new techniques. This is the ideal way to start practicing new skills.

Identify Opportunities in Your Group to Improve or Try New Skills - Seek out diverse opportunities to practice facilitation in your group. Volunteer to facilitate a portion of your next meeting or give a presentation. Look for opportunities to practice facilitation skills in informal interactions with group members as well.

Ask Someone to Observe and Give You Feedback - Ask another leader to observe your facilitation skills and give you constructive feedback on what you did well and what you can improve.

Observe Other Leaders - Watch other leaders facilitate a group to discover ways to enhance your own skills. Use the Group Facilitation Skills Checklist to keep track of the skills you observe.

Videotape Yourself and Evaluate Your Skill Usage - Observe yourself on videotape to assess and improve your leadership.

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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