Role of the facilitator

Role of the facilitator

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    • Maureen Seguin

      April 27, 2021, 11:46 am

      It strikes me that some of the same qualities that make one a good interviewer may make one a good facilitator (neutral, non judgmental, ok with silence, responsive and flexible, etc).

      One area where I think I may struggle is to ensure that quieter members of the group are able to share their ideas – I find it difficult to quell louder members. Also, we are supposed to ensure that even those with a lot to say about their photos be given the space and time to do so. But surely there has to be a limit? Time allocated to these members inevitably impacts the whole group (ie, less time for others to share).

      I know that facilitators need not be experts in photography, but nonetheless, I already feel like a bit of a fraud instructing others on it!

      • PhotoVoice Training

        May 10, 2021, 7:58 pm

        Hi Maureen, you don’t really need to be an expert in photography to be a good facilitator and you are so right about the shared qualities between a good interviewer and good facilitator.

        With regards to the quieter members, in a group environment one way you could do it ,is to provide sharing time slots so that people get to same amount of time. As you experienced in the training we restrict the number of photos people get to share in the group as that can really take a long time. We always say to participants that there will be 1:1 or small group opportunities for them to share and talk about all of the photos they have taken throughout the training.

    • Sonia Rego

      April 27, 2021, 2:41 pm

      As a qualitative researcher, I have some experience facilitating group discussions. My philosophy is to be gently neutral, and open to all possibilities.I truly enjoy listening and learning from others, so can sometimes get carried away with the listening, and forget to re-direct the group to other things!

    • Pwint

      April 28, 2021, 4:56 am

      As humanitarian service providers working in humanitarian sector, I have the valuable experiences in facilitation and training. Some qualities catch and meet with me liked neutral, flexibility, good listener and recognize individuals’ strengths and weakness and good mobilization to the participants.

    • Natalie Hunfalvay

      April 28, 2021, 5:06 am

      A good point made about not being a friend, counsellor or parent. It reminds me a little of possibly being a sports coach, an extra person to speak to who is neutral and will not be judgemental, somebody who can provide a safe place for sharing and reflection, and you can then suggest further pathways if needed (counselling etc).

      I also wonder if it’s OK to ask people specifically if they have any thoughts or input if they are very quiet and don’t seem to be getting an opportunity to speak? For example “Sophie, would you like to add anything”

      Thank you, very good tips.

      • PhotoVoice Training

        May 10, 2021, 9:05 pm

        Hi Natalie, this is a tricky one. It very much depends on the facilitation style but I personally do not like calling out people. The best way to make sure everyone is heard is to incorporate activities that are not only verbal. For example, to select photos and pin them up that represent their understanding on an idea, or to use post it notes which are then collated etc etc. Also most participants get a turn to share their photos so usually they would feel a little bit more comfortable speaking about other things as a result.

    • Steven Cutts

      April 28, 2021, 7:31 am

      There was a lot of good information in this video, and I was glad to see some approaches I’ve used in my own programs in the past – reading the energy in room, loose plans but responsive to needs, staying silent etc. Good to hear about the importance of not being a counsellor – which even though I am not, much of my work is listening to peoples concerns and working with the them to find solutions.

      Many young people I work with can be embarrassed about talking publicly so while I wouldn’t put someone under pressure to talk, encouraging them that it’s safe to do is important especially if there are more active participants.


      April 28, 2021, 8:01 am

      I thought the focus on communication, keeping notes and being open to (un)learning as a facilitator were important points raised in the video. The last one is particularly tricky but quite important as a facilitator entering the room as the expert sometimes shift the mood of the space.

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