We created a new workshop to practice facilitation techniques that easily apply to many different situations while looking at how proper facilitating parallels with guidelines in transformational leadership.

The objectives of the workshop were:

  1. Focus on and practice three facilitation techniques. All these facilitation techniques can access the knowledge and skills from the participants.
    • Using a talking stick
    • Crowd Sourcing
    • Creating smaller groups
  2. Know where to find the tools for new facilitation techniques. (That is the purpose of this post)
  3. Identify how transformational leadership aligns with facilitating groups. 

Transformational Leadership Guidelines used:

We are referencing specifically the book, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership by Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Martin Linsky. This is a terrific book with tools for bringing transformational leadership to change yourself, your organizations, and your surroundings.

  1. Get to the Balcony
  2. Determine the Ripeness of the Issue in the System
  3. Ask, Who am I in This Picture?
  4. Think Hard About Your Framing
  5. Hold Steady
  6. Analyze the Factions That Begin to Emerge
  7. Keep the Work at the Center of People’s Attention


Facilitation Technique One: Using a talking stick

Talking sticks or center points for someone to use in replace of a talking stick are useful for many reasons.  Here are 5 great reasons. Really, they are great for providing space for someone to talk and others space to listen.  Talking sticks can easily be brought into other conversation formats such as a fish bowl, conversation cafe, or board meetings.  We practiced using them in everyday conversations and how that changes the space.

Here are a couple other wonderful links about talking sticks:

Facilitation Technique Two: Crowdsourcing

We looked at how crowdsourcing can be used formally and informally.  Often, we need it informally to bring a group to one focal point or use it to find common ground as in basic conflict management.  The idea is to find out what each individual’s opinion is about a topic or argument and begin working from there.

When we need to document what a group’s ideas or action steps are, we tend to use more formal crowdsourcing.  We often see this happen on social media or on the street polling. For our workshop, we used the very useful 25/10 Crowdsourcing structure.  It is a lot of fun and gets a group uniquely working in a similar direction.

Facilitation Technique Three: Separation Techniques

Often the most skilled and knowledge filled people in a group is not the facilitator, but are the participants.  Many different fantastic facilitation structures are ones where participants are split into smaller groups, triads, or even pairs to work with each other.  To practice this, we used Troika Consulting.  It is an excellent way to get groups of three together and allow each participant equal time to focus on one single question or obstacle.

Other Separation Techniques include:

Many of the structures we use are Liberating Structures.  Check out how much we love Liberating Structures!

***If you would like more information on how Project Kinect can facilitate this or another one of our workshops for your team, email us: workshops@projectkinect.com.