Skill Building: Facilitation


Being a facilitator is a very important role when transferring information to a group of people. Facilitation means guiding new learners in the process of internalizing knowledge and putting that knowledge into practice.

Facilitation does not mean that you educate learners or tell them what to do. A good facilitator helps learners understand why they find this knowledge important, what they want to achieve with this, and the facilitator also guides them through realizing their objectives.

As a facilitator it is important you let your learners think, speak and answer their own questions. Facilitation is a two-way street. You reach your objectives by letting your learners become active and involved. They become an important part of the session; you discuss, probe, and hardly ever tell them the right answer – they have to find out themselves.

Some key skills for good facilitation are                                                   

  • Listening: It is important to listen to your audience, to know what their needs and wishes are, and what they are expecting from the facilitation process.

  • Creating a safe environment: This is important so that your audience feels at ease to contribute to the conversation or activities on a pair with others.

  • Encouraging & supporting: A facilitator needs to encourage his audience to translate knowledge into practice and support them to realise their goals

  • Challenging: It is very important that the facilitators asks good questions to challenge common knowledge or assumptions. Only through challenging an audience, will they come up with new and creative ideas!

Below you find an overview of skills which apply to a facilitator. Which of these are you already good at?

  • Kind
  • Role mode
  • Thinker
  • Mentor
  • Confident
  • Patient
  • Flexible

A facilitator doesn’t need to be an expert, but needs to guide others, while at the same time giving them space to make their own decisions and choices for taking action. A participatory approach is the best way to do this:



  • Focus on the student
  • Facilitate the process
  • Build confidence and trust
  • Focus on the process
  • Participative methods with workbook


  • Focus on the subject
  • Only be the expert
  • Enforce authority and discipline
  • Focus on the end result
  • Frontal teaching