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Facilitate a session

Here are some tips to help guide your work session.
Facilitator vs. Animator

Not 100 percent sure of your facilitator skills? No worries! AppMaker comes with a trump card: a dedicated animator to accompany you as you put the tool to work. We recommend you assign a timekeeper; someone to make sure the session and progress stay on track. He or she will help guide the session, setting timeframes for each of the activities, etc.

When you delve deeper into the accompaniment of a work session, you’re talking about facilitation rather than animation. A facilitator goes beyond keeping the session and activities on track, acting as the mediator of the session. The best facilitators are the ones that strike a perfect balance between bonding with the participants to keep them engaged and taking a more serious approach, making sure the work is spread out fairly to make sure the group and challenges make progress.

The key qualities of a facilitator
  • Be humble
    Facilitators aren’t superheroes ... on the contrary, they are generally less familiar with the workshop topic than the participants, who’ve been thinking about it for a while. The methods, approaches and techniques of innovation aren’t miracle recipes, but they are there to try to mitigate risk. The facilitator should always try to stay humble and supportive, without positioning him/herself as an expert who has all the answers.

  • Be a good listener
    Listening is essential. The facilitator needs to listen to what is being said, while also looking out for what isn’t being said but deserves to be. The best tool a facilitator can use? Ask lots of questions!

  • Demand the best
    Another key quality of a facilitator is to bring out the best in participants, pushing them to work to the very best of their abilities while exploring as many ideas as possible.

  • Act as a connector
    Sharing information is sharing knowledge, so facilitators should encourage participants to share ideas and information freely. Their role is to build bridges between people, ideas and projects, generating synergies and fostering collective intelligence.
Come as you are

The best advice we can offer to help you become a successful facilitator is simple: be yourself! Don’t try to be like someone else during a collaborative work session. It will only make you feel uncomfortable and out of your league. Use your unique skills and personality to create your own style! Just remember to keep in mind the qualities we’ve talked about—and make them your own.

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