The neutrality of the facilitator is important as it allows the facilitator to hold a space for multiple viewpoints without personally becoming attached to any of them. Their role is to enable the group to continually move forward and not to direct them.
Increasing your effectiveness as a facilitator requires the continuing development of an extensive toolkit of models that will enable you to design and guide a facilitated process, adapting in the moment, as required.
Designing a facilitated process is akin to designing a learning journey, as facilitators are often asking individuals and groups to take in new information, build meaning together, test ideas and decide on directions. This is a rather comprehensive cognitive process. Understanding how people learn and make decisions is a central part of the facilitator’s role.
One of the most widely useful frameworks we draw on is the science of cognitive difference, how people take in information, make decisions and interact with their environment, differently. Let’s unpack this.