You will have to develop some skills that will help you in your role as a facilitator. We made it easier for you by gathering a list of skills that are relevant and essential in your journey.
To be a credible facilitator you must inspire trust among participants in your ability to guide the process safely, even if their views will be challenged. Try to express trust in participants through open and honest communication. For example, tell them what is going to happen and why, and involve them along the way, say, in setting the framework of the workshop.
You foster openness by being open yourself, for instance, by sharing out your own experiences of dilemmas and challenges regarding dialogue. You might tell a personal story from your own life with which others can identify. It is also important to listen actively to the participants and acknowledge their viewpoints.
Honesty is standing by who you are for better or worse. For example, if you are in a situation where you realize that you don’t have a ready-made answer, it’s better to reflect openly in an honest search with the participants.
In a dialogue everyone has something to say, regardless of status, gender, ethnicity, age, or power. As a facilitator, you should uphold the principles of equality through your attitude and a respectful, appreciative form of communication, stressing that we are all different and must continue to be so. You can shine a positive light on the differences existing among participants, talk about them as an advantage, and point out the opportunities that they offer.
As a facilitator you might have a well-prepared script but must always be prepared to deviate from it. Because once you start the workshop, you don’t know what the reaction of the participants will be, ranging from frustration, curiosity, through extreme views and resistance to enthusiasm or the lack of it. This is where you have to examine what is going on in the room and among the participants. But most importantly you should continue to focus on the destination with the certainty that the journey is as important as the destination.