There are three important things you need to know and master in order to become a more engaging facilitator of project workshops. Project leadership coach Susanne Madsen reveals them in a post at her blog.
Connected with Purpose
First, understand that you don’t need to know it all. Don’t pile on the pressure thinking you must be an expert. Remember that you are there to facilitate and connect. You should have a general knowledge of the subject and be able to summarize it, but you are not responsible for providing the answers and coming up with a solution. The process of helping your participants engage should be how a solution is found. In total, be present and engaging, set a clear purpose, and make all feel welcome.
Next, play the host. Try to connect with each person as they arrive. If it is a group of people who are not familiar with each other, incorporate a fun icebreaker game to release the uneasiness. Make all feel involved, and give them a chance to contribute and speak equally.
Lastly, use these specific facilitation techniques to get the job done: Make sure all are focused and that real work gets done at the conclusion of the workshop. Have everyone begin with a purpose as to why they are in attendance and ask if the purpose was fulfilled by the end of it. Have note-taking supplies, and make use of them when you break off into smaller groups to brainstorm. Additionally, keep in mind that not everyone will work best in a larger group, so give a few minutes of individual brainstorming before breaking off. And be wise enough to ask open questions. Let the answers find themselves.
You can access the original article here: http://www.susannemadsen.co.uk/blog/how-to-become-a-more-engaging-facilitator-of-project-workshops