Be An Excellent Facilitator: Before You Start

Groups can be rough. Okay, okay, not really – all of them can be supremely useful. But when things go bad, and frequently they do, groups can be counterproductive and actually work against the very things they were designed to do.

After teaching folks how to successfully facilitate these types of gatherings for the last decade, I’m writing some tips, concerns, and considerations for being an EXCELLENT facilitator. This is written out of love and respect for all the youth, friends, colleagues, and clients who have ever sat through a sucky group event and wanted to do it differently. If you are really committed to being an excellent facilitator, read on. If you’re not, well, good luck. Oh, and one way or the other let me know what you think in the comment section. Thanks!

Before You Start

Before you start down the road of becoming a better facilitator, think about these questions:

  • Who were the best facilitators you’ve ever experienced? The worst? What made them that way?

  • What is your goal for being an excellent facilitator- productivity, interaction, fun? Do you think you can facilitate all those at once?

  • What assumptions do you have about facilitation?

  • Why do you really want to learn more about excellent facilitation?

After thinking about all this you are ready to begin learning more about being an excellent facilitator- but not before then! Take a little while and really consider those questions, and then read on…

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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