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Live from the Support Group Leaders' Summit - How to Be a Good Facilitator

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In this session, the facilitator of this meeting, Alan Kumamoto, talked to us about--guess what--facilitating! Sounds easy, but it isn't. How do you keep a group running smoothly, keep everyone motivated, keep yourself from going crazy in the process.

First he asked the group what a facilitator does. Some of the answers: Leads. Enables. Coordinates. Includes everyone in the conversation.

He presented an interesting take on the natural lifespan of a group. He likened it to a person and he broke it down as follows:

Prenatal
This is the first stage. Someone is thinking about forming a group. Hasn't happened yet, but it is a gleam in someone's eye.

Start up (launch)
At this stage you need a little help from older siblings, like the more established groups at the summit

Growth
He classified this as the Junior High stage.
Sometimes those are experimental years. And sometimes we need to be reminded of things that need to take place for us to be successful

Maturity
The group has existed for a while
Delegation of responsibility and things are running smoothly

Decline
Need help to re-energize
We are always trying to avoid decline


He stressed that the care and feeding of a group requires planning and organization to keep your members engaged and motivated.

PLAN
You need a mission statement
You need guidelines
You need the opportunity for R & R as a group, like an Annual Retreat (can be picnic, celebration)

ORGANIZE
Have a calendar
Develop and address book

STAFF
Expert vs Partnership
Make sure there is Succession Planning
Delegate responsibility within group
Identify co-leaders (but also identify who's in charge of what area)
Don't forget to show appreciation and share the satisfaction

IMPLEMENT
This is really important, because all the planning in the world means nothing if you don't implement
Schedule the meetings on a regular basis because your group needs face time

EVALUATE
Don't operate in a vacuum.
Make time for feedback, get it, and accept it.

TASK/CONTENT
This is about doing the real work

PROCESS
This is about figuring out how are you going to do all this

EMOTION LEVEL
How engaged are they?


A lot to consider, as these points address the challenges of maintaining a group, and give us specific pointers for making ourselves better leaders.

Now it is time for Lunch with Dr. Durie.

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