Excellent Facilitation: Create Safe Space
It is vital to create, foster, and support safe spaces where participants can learn together.
In a society that is openly hostile towards critical perspectives, participants in any activity need support when they make their voices heard. Establishing a safe space is powerful, positive, and hopeful, and hope is a requirement for excellent facilitation.
Seven Ways to Create Safe Space
- Acknowledge that everyone has preconceived ideas about others– or prejudices– that can damage others and ourselves.
- Ask participants, “Who should be in this group but is not?”
- Focus and limit our conversations until trust increases (sometimes it is better to agree not to talk about specific issue/problem right away.
- As the facilitator, seek true dialogue and ask real questions.
- Encourage participants to examine their personal assumptions by checking in with others rather than hiding or defending them.
- Speak from personal experience by using I statements and do not generalize about others.
- Be open to a change of heart as well as a change in thinking.
These steps can be essential in creating safe space for participants, no matter what kind of physical space you’re in. Read on to learn more about being an excellent facilitator.
Read The “Excellent Facilitation” Series!
- Be An Excellent Facilitator: Before You Start
- Excellent Facilitation: Be a Facilitator
- Excellent Facilitation: Embrace the Journey
- Excellent Facilitation: Seek Consensus
- Excellent Facilitation: Create Safe Space
- Excellent Facilitation: Make Meaning With Participants
- Excellent Facilitation: Reflect, Reflect, Reflect
- Excellent Facilitation: Framing and Sequencing
- Excellent Facilitation: Create Guidelines and Goals
- Excellent Facilitation: Embrace Challenges