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  • Francoise Gielen

How to grow as a facilitator

Updated: Jan 9

Facilitating is the art of 'making it easy'. With exactly the right intervention, at exactly the right time, the stuff that really matters becomes visible and open to discussion. Yet on the other end, successful facilitation is knowing when to fade out and letting the group take care of itself.


We witnessed it again last month, during the second LOF session. In this session, the participants start practising facilitation and giving feedback for eachother’s growth as a facilitator.

This is what happened…

At the start of the session we reviewed the team agreements we made together. Which agreements do we need to dial up to maximise growth & impact? One brave participant stepped up and invited the fellow participants to provide sharp feedback to him, no holding back. It went silent for a moment.

As a facilitator, we recognize this as the opening of the storming phase where the group just needs a little nudge to set off a groupdynamics where the participants start challenging each other and steer the conversation rather than just relying on the facilitator to do so. So the facilitator nudged: ' what a great idea, why don't we start right now?' and a participant accepted the invitation. First hesitantly, shying away a bit. And upon a last encouragement of the facilitator: 'could you please repeat your last sentence of feedback more clearly?', the sharp, spot-on feedback was given loud and clear. And then the next particpant stepped in with once more sharp and supervaluable feedback.

So is it up to us as facilitators, to fade out, when the ball start rolling by itself? It is! The group is suddenly awake and realizes the value lies not in speaking about team agreements, but actually bringing them to life together. One by one, all the participants stepped in…


Why is feedback such an important part of the LOF program? Two reasons:

First: we learn how to give impactful feedback on the spot, crystal clear but without judgement. Feedback that really shifts the needle. For our peers and our clients.

Second, we learn to receive feedback on the spot, and welcome everything, from a space of calm and acceptance within ourselves, knowing all is learning. Often the feedback most difficult to hear is the most liberating in the end.


Are you also looking to develop mastery in facilitating leaders and teams? Check out the LOF programme.

Or contact Jeroentje van Joolingen via to explore further.

Foto's door: Bob Schipper


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