Most of us working in learning and development get involved in training delivery. This usually involves a bit of teaching and a lot of facilitation.
We work this out over many years. Maybe we start by giving PowerPoint lectures, and only over time, as we learn more about our craft and gain in confidence, are we able to take a step back and focus on the process and a lot less on the content of training sessions.
This is facilitation: the management of the process that allows learning and understanding to emerge from discussion, activity and feedback.
I've been doing this for years, and I think I'm pretty good at it - but like many other trainers (or facilitators), I have no theoretical foundation to understand what I'm doing or how I could do it even better.
In this discussion with Nick Eve, he explains the theory that underpins great facilitation, and shows how this leads to effective facilitation behaviours.
Nick Eve specialises in developing people's facilitation skills.
His work is all about developing people's ability to run groups professionally and effectively.
He has been doing this since 1994. Before that he worked as a facilitator in organisational development. His fascination with groups and the role of the facilitator in enhancing their effectiveness has grown out of his own experiences, both with organisations and also from his group psychotherapy background.
His main expertise is in the provision of training to develop people’s facilitation skills and their facilitative management styles.
His overriding interest is in groups, how they operate and the role that a positive, supportive and impartial facilitator can have on improving their effectiveness in both the long and short term.
He underpins his practical facilitation skills training with relevant theory so that facilitators understand why they do what they do and where the theory comes from. Overall his aim is to increase awareness of what learning facilitators do, the effect it has, what is going on in the group, and how these dimensions interact with each other.
He has extensive training and experience as a group process facilitator. This ensures that his work is well founded theoretically and his ability to explain the core processes to participants from a wide range of backgrounds is second to none.