Extraordinary Team Blog

Ned Ruete’s Top Ten Things to Do as a Facilitator

Posted by Kristin Arnold on March 2, 2016

Back in the early days of facilitation, many of us shared our wisdom and best practices through a listserv moderated by Sandy Schuman.  (Sandy and I later collaborated on The IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation).  Twenty years ago, one of the members, Ned Ruete, posted these top ten things to do as a facilitator.  I was inspired.  Printed it out.  Kept it close.  Shared it with the hundreds of facilitators I have trained.  And now I’d like to share it with you (with Ned’s permission!)

  1. Write it down and hang it on the wall.
  2. Work on one issue at a time. Let the group choose and word the issue.  Write it down and hang it on the wall.
  3. Agree on how to work on that issue. Tap the group wisdom for how to work before offering your own process. Write it down and hang it on the wall.
  4. When someone offers an idea, write it down and hang it on the wall.
    If they offer it repeatedly, point to where it is, written down and hanging on the wall.
  5. If someone attacks a person for a “dumb” idea, ask them where the idea is written down and hanging on a wall. Move to it. Move the discussion to the idea, away from the person who offered it. If additions, qualifications, clarifications, or pros and cons are offered, write it down and hang it on the wall.
  6. When the group is discussing, voting on, or coming to consensus around a solution, write it down and hang it on the wall.
  7. When the group moves away from the agreed-to issue, go to where you wrote it down and hung it on the wall, call their attention to it, and give them the choice to change the issue, go back to the one they agreed to, show how this one affects the one they agreed to, or put a time limit on the digression. Whatever they decide, write it down and hang it on the wall.
  8. When the group moves away from the agreed-to process, go to where you wrote it down and hung it on the wall, call their attention to it, and give them the choice to change the process, go back to the one they agreed to, show how this one affects the one they agreed to, or put a time limit on the digression. Whatever they decide, write it down and hang it on the wall.
  9. When someone says, “We ought to _____,” find out who will. Then write it down and hang it on the wall.
  10. Before breaking up, find out when the group will get back together. Write it down and hang it on the wall.

 

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Kristin Arnold is a professional meeting facilitator and international speaker who is passionate about helping leaders and their teams think things through, make better decisions and achieve sustainable results. The Extraordinary Team’s approach to building high performance teams combines consulting, coaching, training and process facilitation within the context of working real issues.

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  • D

    So basic, yet so powerful. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Love this! Focus, focus, focus and proceed with everyone aligned. #5 is my fave.