Facilitation Tips

4 Core Principles of Agile Facilitation:

  1. My actions as a facilitator enhance their self-organization

  2. Meetings are real work

  3. It's their meeting not mine

  4. I create the container, they create the content


  • Every meeting should have a clear purpose and desired outcome

  • Have an agenda (when necessary) and watch the time

  • Use 3 then me - wait for 3 people to make suggestions before adding your suggestion

  • Count to 10 after asking a question to invite talking

  • To help promote equal voice, if you're not getting all the voices in the room - hand out post-it notes and tell everyone to write down what they are thinking

  • Use Roman Voting - on the count of 3 show thumbs (up = agree, sideways = go with majority, down = disagree)

  • Participants use "Sorry I was in Ireland" as a signal that they aren't following and need to get back into the conversation

  • Always play to the room and adapt as needed - be aware of the room "sense" at all times

  • Use a parking lot and include time in your agenda to review parking lot items before meeting ends

  • Use an Issues/Decisions/Actions flip chart to capture issues/decisions made and actions (include who is responsible for action)

  • Use an Ah-ha's flip chart to capture any good ideas

  • Use meeting energizers to focus everyone on the meeting; can be as simple as

    • tell a story about your shoes

    • what is the first concert you went to

    • weather check (ex. I am foggy but expect to clear with an afternoon cup of coffee)

  • Bring color to the room - bring play dough, squishy toys, pipe cleaners

  • Excitometer - everyone folds their arms at chest level; lift arm to show excitement level and lower arm to show not excited

  • CHOMP!  Each time an agenda item is completed, have the group stand up and do a big gator chomp or have the team determine the action to be completed

  • Good facilitation takes 2x the meeting length in preparation (1-hour meeting; 2-hour prep) so think through meetings; always have a purpose and ENGAGE audience; useful to use a facilitation guide 

  • Use ELMO - print out pictures of Elmo and glue on a popsicle stick; give each audience member an Elmo and have  them hold Elmo up when they are over talking about something to show the facilitator "Enough Let's Move On"