I attended a Facilitation Workshop with the Design Gym to learn how to utilize facilitation skills in a service design setting. The workshop was a great opportunity because I worked with professional facilitators and educators, who provided unique perspective. The common problem we all wanted to solve was group engagement and to learn more tools to achieve engagement.
My takeaway from practicing facilitation with my colleagues was that setting the tone for a safe environment for discussion is essential to engage the group. Depending on situation, the facilitator has to step into multiple roles: referee, swiss army knife, and active listener.
Some tools my class shared were: taking breaks, tracking conversations, adapting, active listening, and mirroring/repeating words back to the group.
I found the facilitation session useful in terms of design because it empowered me to learn how to deal with situations when the value of design is not understood. Now I understand what tools I may use to open the conversation about what is design or design thinking to educate and engage a group.