Developing Effective Facilitation Skills

The workplace has become more team driven with the definition of a team expanding to include non-traditional participants. Using effective facilitation skills is critical and can dramatically improve a group’s success.

Roger Schwarz defines group facilitation as a process in which a person whose selection is acceptable to all members of the group. While ideally a facilitator is someone who is neutral and without decision making authority, leaders can use facilitation skills to better enhance their groups effectiveness. A facilitator works to assist the group to improve its problem-solving or decision-making effectiveness. Effective facilitation skills mean, no more team meetings where ideas are discussed without results, because of team gridlock. Or, no more unsupported decisions being imposed, resulting in lack of support and possibly, failure.

Ideally the facilitator of a group is chosen based on skills. Those skills can be learned.

It is important and useful for all leaders to understand the fundamentals and process of facilitation. It is beneficial for leaders to be skilled themselves in facilitation, or to use skilled facilitators in conducting group discussions. Egos, competing personal goals and interests combined with different perspectives and experiences can often derail group activities or, create a less than satisfactory outcome.

A team leader using proper facilitation can effectively get a group to identify, accept and commit to solutions that will enhance the productivity of the group and  the organization to which they belong.

Developing Facilitation Skills is an optional seminar for the Certificate in Practical Leadership.



(Online: 3 partial days, 9 am - 1 pm, Atlantic Time)

  • November 18 - 20, 2024 (Online)
  • May 21 - 23, 2025 (Online)


Facilitator: Michael Kennedy, BSc, CAE, MEd
Location: Online.

Program Content

Defining the process of facilitation

  • What facilitation is and what it is not
  • A facilitator’s duties and responsibilities

Preparing for a facilitated process

  • What information do you need?
  • How to set up for success

The art of questioning

  • Using questions to elicit responses instead of statements
  • What are good questions? 

Conducting a session

  • Starting a session: Defining purpose and expected results
  • Developing ground rules
  • Gathering information

Keeping a group on track and energized

  • Managing breakout groups
  • Addressing dysfunction
  • Building consensus

Recording information

  • What to record
  • Managing the process

Closing a session

Getting commitment to decisions

  • Assigning actions
  • Evaluating the session 

What You Will Learn

  • How to use facilitation skills to achieve better group results
  • How to set the process up for effective group dynamics
  • Understanding what strategies to employ when issues arise

Who Should Attend?

You will benefit from this seminar if you:

  • are a supervisor, team leader or team member who would like to assist your groups in achieving a more effective and harmonious working relationship within the groups
  • have a department or team that you would like to learn how to manage optimally
  • are someone who would like to develop their facilitation skills