The Top Characteristics of an Effective Facilitator

A client asked met the other day what makes a great facilitator. Here’s what we came up with. I thought a list of the top characteristics of an effective facilitator would be of interest for those managers, speakers and trainers.

1. Stimulates the interaction and the free sharing of thoughts and ideas.

2. Creates the safe environment in order for the group to open up and become actively engaged in the discussion.

3. Are masterful and engaging listeners.

4. Provides the structure for the discussion. Sets the parameters, the intention and guides the conversation.

5. Supports the well-being of each participant as well as the group.

6. Acknowledges the participants and makes them right (and never makes anyone wrong.)

7. Utilizes the art of the question to create and cultivate new possibilities that stimulate new thinking.

8. Taps into the wisdom of each person, as the value derived in each discussion is a result of the co-creation and wisdom of the group (vs. dominates the discussion.)

9. Is charge neutral and responsive rather than reactive.

10. Is fluid and flexible vs. rigid. (Is light and dances gracefully within the conversation.)

11. Connects with the group.

12. Plans effectively yet is fluid based on the atmosphere and needs of the audience.

13. Is authentic and shares themselves with others/is fully self expressed.

14. Has fun and is passionate about the transformational process that occurs – if done successfully!