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Boulden Management Consultants

Trainer Training  >  1-Day Course

Essential Facilitation Skills

Training in Facilitation Skills

Become an outstanding facilitator

One-Day Course

Course Brochure Download
Essential Facilitation Skills brochure
  • Understand the facilitator’s role
  • Gain an insight into the ‘golden rules’ of effective facilitation
  • Manage the expectations of the session participants


This one-day programme aims to provide managers, team leaders and technical experts with the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective facilitator. The course will enable participants to help their clients to define compelling outcomes for a meeting and then specify a format, agenda or methodology for the session. Once in the meeting the participants will learn how to remain impartial and objective as they help the group move smoothly though each step in the agreed agenda.

Learning objectives

By attending this highly interactive one-day course you will:

  • Learn how to use the concept of ‘contracting’ to decide how to engage with the client group
  • Acquire a ‘toolbox’ of influencing skills for gaining good rapport with the group
  • Discover techniques for challenging hostile or unhelpful behaviour
  • Master three powerful techniques for developing your self confidence
  • Understand how to maintain the momentum in a facilitation session

Who should attend?

Managers and technical experts who want a thorough refresher course on how to facilitate an effective meeting. Also those participants who have had little formal skills training and who wish to aquire a methodical and professional approach to facilitating in a professional and persuasive manner.

Day 1

The inner game of facilitation

The phrase the ‘inner game’ is a term borrowed from sports psychology. It is a reference to the fact that what is going on inside a person’s head (their state of mind) is crucial to good performance. Here we consider the role perception and beliefs of expert facilitator.

  • Examining your current beliefs
  • Reviewing expert beliefs
  • The importance of varying the approach to suit the individual
  • Making changes that you feel are appropriate for you

Exercise: Applying the ‘affirmation tchnique’


One of the key aspects to effective facilitation is getting an explicit, written, agreement about who will attend the session, what they will do before, during and after the meeting and when they will do it. Without such a commitment from the key stakeholders the meeting can lack focus and may fail to achieve its objectives. We call this process of planning and gaining commitment ‘contracting.’

  • Primary client vs the ‘broker’ relationship
  • Understanding the stakeholders
  • The ‘well formed outcome process’ for agreeing objectives
  • Key topics to cover in the agreement

Exercise: Developing a contract

Self management

When working with a group the facilitator should maintain a calm, confident state of mind and have a sense of physical presence. Here we consider three techniques from the school of psychology known as Neuro Linguistic Programming to help to build this feeling of self-reliance and resourcefulness.

  • Visualising success
  • Using your body and voice
  • Handling Criticism Technique

Exercise: using your body and voice to create a forceful presence in the room

Setting up the session

A professional and well-planned start to a session can serve to avoid potential problems while actively creating a pleasant and positive working atmosphere. In this session we consider how to set up meetings and events to ensure maximum effectiveness, while establishing the facilitators’ authority over the proceedings.

  • Rapport building techniques
  • Ground rules and the importance of ‘type one’ and ‘type two’ behaviour
  • Metaphors to set the scene
  • Clearing questions as way of getting in the right frame of mind

Exercise: designing a metaphor

Running the main body of the workshop

As the session unfolds the facilitator is responsible for keeping the meeting on track and ensuring key objectives are met.

  • Meeting frames to help control the flow of the session
  • Managing the energy
  • Summarising for clarity of purpose
  • Rounds to ensure involvement and participation
  • Visual records to focus attention on the current step

Exercise: practice at using meeting frames

Handling challenging behaviour

As a session unfolds it may be the case that some participants engage in difficult or challenging behaviours. It may also be the case that people simply disagree with one another and so conflict can arise. The experienced facilitator can recognise and understand the different behaviours people demonstrate in meetings and use strategies to handle these positively.

  • Position perception
  • Maintaining control
  • Making observations, drawing inferences & commenting on the use or misuse of ground rules

Exercise: learning how to enforce ground rules

Committing to Action

The final stage of the process is to bring the meeting to a satisfactory and conclusive close. This involves developing concrete and credible action plans and putting in place formal review points to monitor progress made over time.

  • 3 Step Assertiveness technique to close off the conversation
  • Action lists to formalise the commitments made to move forward
  • Follow up plans for reviewing progress
  • Closing the meeting

Exercise: practice at making a closing speech



Feedback is based upon peer review using a Boulden assessment checklist. Completing the assessment checklist is not only valuable to the people involved in a given case study, it also helps those completing them to gain an in-depth understanding of the building blocks that make up an outstanding facilitator.

Remote Training

All of our workshops can be delivered as Remote Training via e-learning modules plus Zoom based virtual workshops. Please see our Virtual Training page for more information.


Further information on this course is available by contacting
Boulden Management Consultants:
via our Contact form
Tel: 0844 394 8877