One way make group events matter is to reflect before, during, and after the reflection.
You can see reflection as a circle: You start with an explanation what you are going to learn and frame its purpose and goals to the group.
As the activity progresses, the facilitator taking a more hands-on or less guiding approach as needed.
Finally, group reflection helps participants see how they met the goals of the workshop, and helps them envision the broader implications.
Then the group has came full-circle.
Five Types of Reflection Questions
- Open-ended: Prevents yes and no answers. “What was the purpose of the activity?” “What did you learn about yourself, our team, our program, our organization, or our community?”
- Feeling: Requires participants to reflect on how they feel about what they did. “How did it feel when you started to pull it together?”
- Judgment: Asks participants to make decisions about things. “What was the best part?” “Was it a good idea?”
- Guiding: Steers the participants toward the purpose of the activity and keep the discussion focused. “What got you all going in the right direction?”
- Closing: Helps participants draw conclusions and end the discussion. “What did you learn?” “What would you do differently?”
When your participants have finished reflecting, you might find a warmer, more accepting group that has experienced something together and made meaning as a whole. This is facilitation at its best!
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