The facilitator’s role is to:
- ensure everyone gets heard
- keep the discussion on topic, and on schedule to help the group meet its goal
- help the group to recognize, acknowledge and respect everyone’s point of view, and level of knowledge
- create a safe space for the group to learn together
- use a talking stick. The person holding the stick gets to talk. Everyone has a chance to speak (or pass) before anyone gets a second chance to speak.
- Encourage the group to talk in pairs/threes to include shy voices to participate
- If the group appears to have very diverse opinions, ask and record what people expect from the meeting. Be clear about what is possible, and what isn’t on the agenda.
- If needed, develop a list of common values regarding behaviours to acknowledge what the group will tolerate/expect.